South African fast bowler Dale Steyn is of the opinion that the ongoing IPL 2021 might be David Warner's last season with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). The Aussie was sacked as captain and subsequently dropped from the playing XI of their Sunday game against Rajasthan Royals (RR).
Kane Williamson has been asked to take over the reins of SRH after the franchise managed to win only one of their first six games under David Warner's leadership.
While calling the team's move to appoint a new captain 'understandable', former SRH fast bowler Dale Steyn expressed surprise at Warner being dropped from the team altogether. Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, the legendary South African said:
"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."
David Warner is the highest run-getter for SRH in IPL history, having scored 5447 runs for them since 2014. The left-handed opener has also won the IPL orange cap a record three times (2015, 2017 and 2019).
Despite not being at his destructive best with the bat in the ongoing campaign, Warner has still managed to score 193 runs in six innings — the joint second-most run scorer for SRH so far this year.
David Warner may have questioned the management when Manish Pandey was left out: Dale Steyn
There has been speculation that things might have gone sour in the SRH camp after their Super-Over loss against Delhi Capitals earlier in the tournament.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, David Warner had questioned the team management's decision to drop Manish Pandey from the XI, terming it as 'harsh'.
Though Sunrisers' director of cricket Tom Moody insisted that Warner's omission was based purely on cricketing reasons, Steyn wondered if the latter's comments had come back to haunt him.
"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 Dale Steyn.
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The change in captaincy did not alter SRH's fortunes as Kane Williamson's men went down to the Sanju Samson-led RR by 55 runs.
With this loss, the Sunrisers continue to languish at the bottom with two points on the points table IPL 2021. It remains to be seen if the team management decides to recall the talismanic Warner in the hope of resurrecting their campaign.