David Warner has long been a stalwart for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), leading the franchise to their only Indian Premier League (IPL) title while scoring runs at a ratio even the likes of Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina can't boast of. However, IPL 2021 saw the Aussie southpaw first being stripped of captaincy responsibilities before being axed from the team altogether as the Sunrisers finished bottom of the table with just three wins from 14 games.
Warner was relived as captain after leading the franchise to just one win from six in the first half of the campaign in India, with Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson taking over. Following the resumption of the league in the UAE, Warner featured in just two games before being benched for the final five encounters.
The 34-year-old said he would love to continue playing for the franchise, but admitted it might not happen again. Warner has averaged over 39 in the last seven seasons with SRH, recording a strike rate of over 140 in six of those campaigns. However, a tough 2021 saw him score just 195 runs from eight innings at a strike rate of 107.73 and averaging 24.37.
After being one of the batsmen in the league, let alone in SRH alone, Warner felt he deserved to be explained why he was being axed from the team, but he didn’t get them and believes he will never in the future.
In an interview with Sports Today, when asked about the reason for his axing, Warner said, “Look, I'm not 100% sure. You don't know who is going for you, who wants you the selected, who doesn't. End of the day you're told you're not playing.”
“The disappointing thing for me was not being explained why I was dropped as captain. I think if you want to go along the lines of form, it's a difficult one because I guess whatever you've done in the past would have some weightage moving forward, especially when you've played 100 (95) games for the franchise.”
Warner further said he had just four bad games, which included two run-outs, in slow wickets in Chennai. “It's difficult, a bitter pill to swallow but I don't think I will ever get answers and must move on,” Warner said.
The Australian batsman said it was time to look forward, as there was another auction coming up. “I'd love nothing more than to represent Sunrisers still, but the decision remains with the owners and what direction the franchise wants to go in,” he said.
He also expressed interest at captaining a side in future editions of the IPL, saying it is something he loves to do and brings out the best in him. But regardless if he is captain or not, and irrespective of which team he plays for, Warner is longing for a return to IPL and entertain fans as he has for over a decade.