Warner replaced by Williamson as Sunrisers captain

NEW DELHI (Agencies): Kane Williamson will take over the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s captaincy from David Warner for the remainder of IPL 2021. The franchise has also announced there will be a change in their overseas combination for the match against the Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.

Williamson’s promotion comes a day after Warner said he took “full responsibility” for the Sunrisers’ loss against the Chennai Super Kings, their fifth defeat in six games. A game prior to that he had described Manish Pandey’s omission from the starting XI as a “harsh” call by the “selectors”.

Although he scored a half-century, Warner appeared a very frustrated figure while he batted in that match, unhappy with both his timing and the way he kept finding the Super Kings fielders instead of the gaps. Sunrisers somehow made it to 171 for 3 thanks to a fifty from Manish Pandey as well and some clever finishing from Williamson (26 off 10). But it did not prove anywhere near a competitive total.

“I take full responsibility. The way that I batted was obviously very slow,” Warner told host broadcaster Star Sports after the Sunrisers lost to the Super Kings by seven wickets. “I was hitting a lot of fielders and [was] very, very frustrated… Look I take full responsibility from a batting point of view. I felt [that with] Manish coming back into the team, the way that he batted was exceptional. And obviously Kane [Williamson] and Kedar [Jadhav] towards the back end there, they put some boundaries away and got us to a respectable total. I felt that we were probably just below par from where we were. But yeah look, at the end of the day, I’ll take full responsibility.”

Williamson had captained the Sunrisers in the 2018 season when Warner was barred from the IPL for his involvement in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal. He topped the run-scorers’ chart back then with a tally of 735 in 17 matches and led the team to its second IPL final in history. Overall, Williamson’s captaincy record in the IPL reads 14 wins and 12 losses in 26 matches. Warner had a similar effect on the team when they won the IPL in 2016. He was their leading batter (848 runs in 17 matches) and has been one of the most consistent overseas performers in the tournament’s history.

“The decision has not come lightly as the management respects the enormous impact David Warner has had for the franchise over a number of years,” the Sunrisers statement said announcing the captaincy change said. “As we face the remainder of the season, we are sure David will continue to help us strive for success both on and off the field.” Although the franchise hasn’t mentioned anything officially, it is possible Warner might not be part of their match tomorrow.