If the shock of stripping David Warner from Sunrisers Hyderabad’s captaincy wasn’t enough, the cricketing world was astonished to see the swashbuckling opener being dropped from their playing XI in the IPL 2021 contest against Rajasthan Royals (RR).
While Manish Pandey was promoted up the order to open along with Jonny Bairstow, all-rounder Mohammed Nabi was included in place of Warner.
SRH’s peculiar move has received backlash from all corners of the cricketing fraternity. Daniel Vettori and Sanjay Manjrekar had recently expressed their dismay at SRH sacking Warner from captaincy.
Now, Brett Lee has come to the fore to defend his countryman. The former speedster has backed his compatriot, arguing that though Warner isn’t in the best of his form, yet his services have been indispensable to SRH. Moreover, the left-handed batsman has always been among the contenders for the ‘Orange Cap.’
“I’m actually shocked that David Warner was not included in the XI. I know he hasn’t been playing his best form of cricket in terms of his strike rate this season but he’s always been there and there about with the Orange Cap party,” said Lee on a chat show for Star Sports.
Concluding the chat, Lee opined that the best Warner can do is to support his team and the Orange Army finds some momentum.
“He has scored runs throughout the IPL. Tell you what, he’s not happy. He would not be happy but all he can do now is be a good team player and support his team and hopefully for the Sunrisers, they can find some momentum,” asserted Lee.
Former pacer Dale Steyn also expressed his surprise at Warner’s removal as captain and wanted the latter to be at least a part of the playing XI. Steyn further added that this might be New South Wales (NSW) cricketer’s last season with SRH.
“It’s strange that he isn’t a part of the playing eleven. It’s understandable if they want to change ownership of captaincy for next season, and keep Kane there. But David is still a phenomenal batter and I would still keep him in the eleven. But this might be the last time we see Warner in the Orange Army,” said Steyn while speaking to ESPNcricinfo.
The Proteas star also speculated that Warner could have been axed for questioning SRH team management’s decision of dropping Pandey. Concluding the chat, Steyn hinted that something unusual is happening inside SRH and the public is not aware of it.
“I don’t know if David Warner may have questioned some of the decisions, maybe when Manish Pandey was left out. Sometimes, the management doesn’t appreciate that, I guess. The captain of the team also needs to take ownership of his squad and who’s going out on the field. Seems like there’s definitely something happening behind closed doors that the public is not aware of,” concluded Steyn.