David Warner gave an emotional message to his fans after Sunrisers Hyderabad finished last in the points table in IPL 2021, indicating that he will not be in the franchise for IPL 2022.
Imagine you have been one of the best employers in the company for seven years. Despite some ups and downs, you have emerged as the most valuable member of the team. Yet, after so many years of service, you leave on a sad and bitter note. This ‘burning the bridges’ moment is something that every employee dreads. Perhaps, this is the feeling that David Warner might be feeling as he penned down his emotional final words with Sunrisers Hyderabad.
It has been a horror season for David Warner. Lacking the assurance and aggression, Warner struggled with the bat and with the captaincy. The muddled focus saw his communication skills getting impacted. In one match, he forgot what were the changes in the team. Losing their talisman in aggression and stability at the top hurt Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2021 season. Sunrisers never recovered and they have ended up at the bottom, having not qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
Ever since he suffered the groin injury during the ODI series against India, Warner has been a shadow of his former self. The additional stress of living in bio-bubbles amidst the pandemic has also resulted in mental conundrums for him. Caught between family and national duty, Warner’s assurance is gone in this period in time.
The systematic failure in Warner’s situation saw him touch rock bottom in the Sunrisers Hyderabad side. He was axed as captain, then from the team and also from the entire squad. This has been reflected in his performances in the year 2021. He has scored just 195 runs in eight innings. For the first time since 2013, Warner has aggregated less than 500 runs in the season.
The consistency that Warner has shown for Sunrisers Hyderabad is staggering. He has scored over 500 runs from 2014 to 2020. Warner was the key factor behind Sunrisers Hyderabad’s epic win in 2016, scoring 848 runs in their title run.
Warner’s poor form and low strike rate come at a problem time for Australia. He is set to partner Aaron Finch on the same slow decks in the UAE for the ICC World T20 2021. With form not helping Warner, his time in the national team might soon be him. Warner has already admitted that he may have to quit certain formats as the stress of living in bio-bubbles begins to take a toll.
As far as the IPL is concerned, the mega auction of 2022 might hold the key to where Warner heads next. Most of the teams have their captaincy sorted. Royal Challengers Bangalore will see Virat Kohli stepping down as the captain after the end of IPL 2021. Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals are the other places where Warner could make an impact.
But, with KL Rahul performing superbly and with Rajasthan stressing on youth, Warner might not be in a franchise in 2022 if he continues to struggle for form. With the Ashes immediately after the end of the ICC World T20 2021, that will be the time when all eyes will be on Warner and his performance.
There is no denying it. When the bridges are burnt, it leaves nothing but sadness. Warner’s message on Instagram conveyed how much he wanted to help Sunrisers Hyderabad achieve success. In Warner’s tenure, Sunrisers Hyderabad consistently made it to the playoffs, except for 2018 where Williamson almost helped them to the title.
What has gone on behind the scenes between Tom Moody, Trevor Bayliss and Warner will never be known. One thing is for sure. The attitude from Warner in IPL 2021 was not deemed right by Trevor Bayliss. The emphasis on youth is perhaps one way of limiting the damage that was brought in when Warner was left out.
There is no doubt that Warner is a legend on the IPL. But, when it comes to 2021, it is a sad way for him to go. He deserved better, but sadly, in the ruthless competitive world of IPL and international cricket, that might never happen.