Sunrisers Hyderabad’s (SRH) IPL 2021 campaign has been mired in complications. They are placed at the bottom of the points table with only a solitary win from seven matches. One of the issues with the franchise is that they have faltered in all their chases except one against Punjab Kings (PBKS).
In the midst of such a disappointing endeavour, the SRH management shared a media release on Saturday announcing Kane Williamson as their new captain. The ‘Orange Army’ has also hinted at reshuffling their four overseas players in the final XI.
The sudden removal of David Warner, who led the side to their maiden IPL title in 2016, has stunned the cricketing fraternity. In one such debate, former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, who was present alongside Indian cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar on an ESPNCricinfo video, labelled the decision as ‘staggering.’
The veteran spinner backed Warner arguing that the latter has been a cardinal part of the team. The Auckland-born further added that sacking Warner as a captain has startled everyone.
“It’s staggering really. It may have been alluded to in the last little while with Warner talking about selection issues and taking so much responsibility for the loss in the last game, but this seems like a move which is so unlike SunRisers particularly with David Warner, who has been the heart and soul of their team for a number of years. I mean, his performances have been magnificent and his captaincy has been outstanding as well and he’s led them to a title. Anyone who is not involved with the Sunrisers sits back and goes this seems like a huge move but it is the move of a franchise down the bottom of the table,” Vettori said.
Agreeing with Vettori, Manjrekar was also shocked at the axing of the Australian opener from captaincy. Though he denied backing his statements with previous records, Manjrekar blamed the inept middle-order batters for SRH’s struggle in chases. The 55-year-old concluded that SRH lacks quality openers who could replace Warner.
“I’m not a big fan of going by the past and making that as a very compelling reason to back somebody. If the current form is not great or it’s been a bad for a while [you can understand], but David Warner, I mean, that’s not the case as well. When you look at SunRisers Hyderabad’s defeats very closely it’s been because they’ve messed up a lot of run chasers, whether David Warner’s captaincy was responsible for that I don’t think so. The playing XI has been topsy-turvy especially with the Indian players … If they want to change their overseas combination that again would be staggering for me because I don’t think SunRisers Hyderabad is that rich that they can afford to go into a game without David Warner’s batsmanship at the top of the order,” the Indian expert remarked.