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3 reasons why Lucknow/Ahmedabad should have targeted David Warner as skipper

Sunrisers Hyderabad soured their relationship with their former skipper in 2021.
Sunrisers Hyderabad soured their relationship with their former skipper in 2021.
Yash Chaturvedi
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The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 auction is a month away, and David Warner will find himself in it for the first time since his association with the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) began in 2014. One of the all-time greats among overseas players in the league's history, the Australian is the leading overseas run-getter and a three-time Orange Cap winner.

A legendary leader of SRH, having piloted them to their sole title win in 2016, Warner was unceremoniously stripped of his captaincy and dropped from the playing XI in IPL 2021 due to poor team and individual numbers. Although he turned things around later in the year to become the Player of the Tournament in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, the franchise had already burned their bridges with the player and thus retention was out of the question.

The 35-year-old had another opportunity to skip the auction, as the two new teams competing in IPL 2022 were allowed three player signings prior to it. However, both Team Lucknow and Team Ahmedabad seem to have settled on other overseas and captaincy options.

Here are three reasons one of the new franchises should have targeted Warner as skipper.


#3 Warner is a cult figure in the IPL

SRH's former skipper has a huge following all over the world.
SRH's former skipper has a huge following all over the world.

Incredibly popular among Indian fans, particularly SRH supporters for his aggressive batting and humor off the field, Warner's mere presence is box office for any franchise. With Team Lucknow and Ahmedabad creating a name for themselves from scratch, it wouldn't have hurt to bring aboard one of the most well-respected and followed icons of the IPL.

With both CVC Capital and RPSG Group having made significant investments in purchasing their IPL teams, they need some guarantee of returns, in terms of interest from fans and sponsors alike. The Australian's cult personality would have kept either franchise in good stead going forward, and seen a significant chunk of former SRH supporters rally behind the new team.


#2 Warner has a good record as an IPL captain

SRH rose to prominence under their former skipper.
SRH rose to prominence under their former skipper.

In IPL history, only four players have won more IPL games than Warner as captain - MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir. Having also led the Delhi Daredevils for some games in the 2013 IPL season, the former Australian captain achieved most of his success with SRH, leading them to a title win in 2016.

What often slips under the radar is the consistency with which SRH made the playoffs under Warner's leadership. Aside from a disastrous 2021 and a mediocre 2015, SRH reached the playoffs five years in a row between 2016 and 2020 - becoming the only team aside from the Chennai Super Kings to make the final stages for five seasons or more consecutively.

The star batter shone with the way he shepherded SRH's potent bowling line-up over the years, and either of the new teams could have exploited his prowess.


#1 Warner can lead from the front with the bat

The former captain carried the SRH batting line-up on many an occasion.
The former captain carried the SRH batting line-up on many an occasion.

There is scarcely a bigger source of motivation for a franchise than a captain who leads by example and shows the way. Despite suggestions that the 35-year-old was over the hill as a professional cricketer, he showed during the T20 World Cup and the subsequent Ashes that he is far from finished. As an opener, he has often set the tone for his team and bludgeoned opposition line-ups into submission.

Not only does the big-hitting opener have four IPL centuries to his name, but he has also racked up 500 or more runs in a season on six consecutive occasions between 2014 and 2020. With 50 half-centuries in the bank and a hunger for more, Warner's mere presence at the top would have sparked optimism regarding whichever new team was to pick him.


Edited by Sai Krishna
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