In the absence of regular Rishabh Pant, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a near-fatal automobile collision in December, Australia batter David Warner will lead the Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2023. The team officially announced Warner’s appointment on Twitter on March 16, with India all-rounder Axar Patel slated to be his deputy.
It is said that Warner was an ideal match for Caps head coach Ricky Ponting and the management, having previously guided his former outfit Sunrisers Hyderabad to their first IPL title in 2016.
Warner will lead the Delhi-based club for the second time, having previously served as an interim captain for a few games during his first spell with the team from 2009 to 2013. Upon his appointment as Sunrisers manager in 2015, the southpaw established himself as one of the game’s most prominent leaders.
Warner has won 35 of the 69 games he has played as captain in the IPL, and his hitting stats as captain are also encouraging. As captain, Warner has scored 2840 of his 5881 runs in the IPL, and his average of 47.33 is higher than his entire career average of 42.01.
Warner was unable to captain the Sunrisers in 2018-19 owing to his participation in the ball-tampering incident at Newlands in South Africa. Nevertheless, he returned to the post later, only to be fired halfway through the 2021 IPL, when his declining performances – both as a batter and as a leader – prompted the SRH management to hand the leadership hat to Kane Williamson.
Earlier that year, Warner unexpectedly disappeared from one of SRH’s games, his inexplicable disappearance sparking several theories. He was then revealed to be a spectator after being left at the team hotel, with head coach Trevor Bayliss stating that he “was not the only senior player” left behind. In the wake of all that upheaval, Warner was freed before of the 2022 major auction, when he won an INR 6.25 crore check from the Caps.
Warner returned the Caps’ trust by finishing as the team’s best run-scorer in 2022, amassing 432 runs at an average of 48 and a strike rate of 150 with five half-centuries. Unfortunately, his spectacular performance was not enough to propel his club into the top four, as the Caps lost out on a playoff spot.
Warner was a member of Australia’s team for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which India won 2-1. He was forced to miss the second half of the series after sustaining a hairline fracture in his left elbow from a Mohammed Shami short ball in the first innings of the second of four-match series in Delhi. He will play in the next three-ODI series, which begins on March 17 in Mumbai.