Explosive yet effective, flashy yet flamboyant. The Sunrisers Hyderabad have big boots to fill to replace David Warner at the top of the order. Kane Williamson takes over the captaincy of the Hyderabad franchise from Warner, and the team will need to find quick answers to bridge the gap left by their former captain, who led their side to their maiden IPL title two seasons ago after their entry into the league in 2013. As SRH begin their IPL quest without their talisman, we take a look at the impact that the Australian had on his side.
FULCRUM OF THE TEAM
Warner has been a vital cog in the Sunrisers batting line-up, accumulating the most runs in the last 4 seasons. The 31-year-old, has amassed 2579 runs in 59 innings since his move to SRH donning the orange cap twice, once in 2015, and the second time last season. With 4014 runs, Warner is the most prolific overseas batsman, 5th in the all-time run scoring list. (He has played 47 matches less than Suresh Raina who occupies the top spot.)
Opening the innings and with little time to waste, Warner has been instrumental in setting the platform for SRH. In the last 3 seasons, Warner has the highest strike rate amongst the SRH batsmen (min.300 runs) when the side have emerged victorious in the qualification phase. However, Warner’s impressive average of 120 in 10 matches during the same period while successfully chasing targets underlines the impact he had on his side. Out of the 9 innings in which SRH batted first in last year’s IPL, Warner has been able to had an average impact of 32 % in the team’s success. Similarly, when SRH have been set a target (5 innings in IPL 2017), Warner has had a 12% impact on affecting a winning outcome.
The former Delhi Daredevils player scored 33% of SRH’s runs in the title winning campaign, and continued to shoulder the batting responsibility of his side notching up 28% of his team’s runs in the following season.
With momentum being key in the shortest format of the game, the New South Wales batter has been quick to get out of the blocks and put the opposition on the back foot from the word go. With a strike rate of 148, Warner has the most number of runs in the first 6 overs in the last 4 years of the IPL (1245 runs in 54 innings). The intent and aggression of Warner from the start has also provided more freedom for his partner Shikar Dhawan to play his natural game.
PARTNERSHIP WITH DHAWAN
Apart from his individual batting exploits, Warner shared a formidable opening partnership with Shikhar Dhawan, who he replaced as captain in 2015. Consistency has been a hallmark feature of the pair, who share 6 century stands together in the last 4 years, the highest being 139 in Hyderabad last season against KKR. Not just with Dhawan, the Australian southpaw has been able to string up partnerships with other batsmen and provide stability. In the 45 matches he played in the last 3 years of IPL, he has went on to bat after halfway mark (10th over) a staggering 19 times.
With English opener Alex Hales likely to open with Dhawan, it will be interesting to see how this right-left partnership will combine in the tournament. The onus will fall on Dhawan to take more responsibility at the top and play the role of Warner.
Hales, who is the only English batsman to score a T20 International Century, is yet to make an appearance in the IPL despite being known for his big hitting. The opener had a strike rate of 204.4 as Nottingham claimed the Natwest T20 Blast title in 2017.
LEADING FROM THE FRONT
While few players may find captaincy a burden to their batting, Warner seems to have flourished. Leading SRH into the knockout phases twice, Warner has smashed 1489 runs, the highest amongst the IPL leaders in the last two seasons, with RCB Captain Virat Kohli, who missed few games last IPL, is second on the list with 1281 runs. He has also led SRH to 26 wins since taking over captaincy in 2015, second to only Rohit Sharma, who has captained Mumbai Indians to 29 wins in the last 3 seasons.
Will Warner-less SRH qualify for the knockout stages in a strong field of IPL 2018? Comment and let us know your thoughts!