Renowned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar expressed bafflement over Sunrisers Hyderabad’s decision to axe David Warner and insisted that he cannot see a change in captaincy solving SRH’s deep-lying problems. Manjrekar also said that SRH might not have the luxury to do away with Warner the batsman.
On Saturday afternoon, Sunrisers Hyderabad put out arguably the most shocking press release in IPL history as they announced that they were officially sacking the franchise’s official skipper, David Warner. SRH are currently reeling at bottom of the table with one win from six games, and the side’s results coupled with Warner’s middling returns saw the franchise take the drastic decision to replace the Australian with Kane Williamson. The decision has been received with mostly negative responses, and renowned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar echoed the common sentiment.
Speaking on ESPN Cricinfo, Manjrekar said that Warner has been singled out rather unfairly and noted how SRH have deep-lying problems which a change in leadership cannot solve.
“I’m not a fan of going to the past and using that as a reason to keep somebody in the team when the current form is not there. But with David Warner, that’s not the case. When you look at SRH defeats very closely, it’s because they’ve messed up a lot of run chases. Was Warner the captain responsible for that? I don’t think so. The playing XI has been topsy-turvy but Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s injury has been a big let-down, Natarajan can’t play in the IPL and those setbacks have been there. Was Warner responsible for all that? Again, the answer is no,” Manjrekar said on ESPN Cricinfo.
SRH, in the press release, hinted that there would be a ‘change in the overseas combination’, indicating that Warner, in fact, might not even make the starting XI. That would allow one of Jason Roy, Mohammed Nabi or Jason Holder to come into the XI, but Manjrekar felt that SRH’s batting is not strong enough for them to be leaving out a run accumulator like Warner.
“If they wanna change the overseas combo, drop Warner and bring in Mujeeb or Holder that would again be staggering for me, I don’t think SRH’s batting is that rich that they can afford to go into a game without the batsmanship of David Warner at the top of the order.”
Meanwhile, former New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori also expressed that he was left staggered by SRH’s decision to axe Warner. Speaking in the same show, Vettori pointed out how Warner has been the heart and soul of the franchise for five years, and claimed that it was very uncharacteristic of SRH to take the drastic decision of changing their skipper mid-way through the season.
“It’s staggering. It may have been alluded to in the last few days with Warner talking about selection issues and taking responsibility for the loss in the last game, but this seems like a move that is so unlike Sunrisers. Particularly when Warner has been the heart and soul of the team for a number of years. His performances have been magnificent and his captaincy has been outstanding as well. It is a huge move and it is a move from a franchise that is at the bottom of the table,” Vettori said.
Kane Williamson’s first assignment as skipper will be against the Rajasthan Royals in Delhi on Sunday.