David Warner in IPL 2019: Rising From the Embers.

Vishal Chauhan, 25/04/2019
David Warner in IPL 2019: Rising From the Embers.

A cop goes rogue only to comeback for one crucial mission and gets his lost reputation back. This is surely one of the most tried and tested plot lines. But this same premise also holds true for Australian cricketer David Warner. Only difference being, it all happened for real and on the cricket field.

When IPL 2019 got underway on 23 March, Warner, along with his Australian teammate Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft, were still serving their one-year ban for their involvement in the infamous ball-tampering incident. But Warner and Smith were allowed to play in the IPL.

Warner was welcomed heartily by Sunrisers Hyderabad fans. One month down, and the line, the rogue cop (read cricketer) have redeemed himself.

David Warner: The Phoenix

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David Warner had stood down as the Sunrisers’ captain immediately after he was banned by Cricket Australia last year. What followed was the BCCI also banning him from the 2018 edition of the tournament.

Despite the ban, Sunrisers knew the worth of a David Warner and made a smart decision of retaining him ahead of the 2019 IPL auction.

And that trust shown by Warner’s employers paid off.

Currently, Warner sits atop the highest-run-getters’ list in the twelfth season of the IPL. With seven fifties and a century in 10 matches, the Australian has already accumulated 574 runs.

From weeping apologetically in front of a room full of journalists in Sydney to punching the air in his trademark style in Hyderabad after completing his century in only the third match of his comeback season – the phoenix has risen from the ashes.

A Helpful Break?

A break has different effects on different players, and for Warner it surely had a positive one. The one-year ban only made him more determined and hungrier to come and perform.

In fact, Australian legend Shane Warne in an interview to had mentioned that the one-year break would do a world of good to Warner.

The Bangladesh Premier League served as his return to world cricket. Turning up for Sylhet Sixers, Warner scored three fifties in seven matches. In his first practice match for the Sunrisers, he scored a 43-ball 65 and was in his element all throughout his innings, maintaining a strike rate over 150.

As far as the IPL is concerned, Warner just took off from where he had left in 2017. He scored a 53-ball 85 against Kolkata Knight Riders to start. He followed it with a 69 and a 100 not out. Currently, Warner has scored five consecutive fifty-plus scores.

Such has been his impact on the Sunrisers this season that his success at the top of the batting order has been synonymous with Sunrisers’ success. Out of the eight times, Warner has gone on to make a hundred or a fifty, his side has won four times.

Partnering With Bairstow

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Warner has forged an unlikely partnership with Englishman Jonny Bairstow at the top of the Sunrisers’ batting order.

Warner and Bairstow have put together 738 runs from 10 matches in the ongoing IPL. The right-handed Bairstow perfectly complemented the southpaw. In ten matches, the duo brought up four century stands, and three half-century stands.

Their 185-run stand against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Hyderabad is the highest opening partnership in IPL history. Both batsmen scored a century in the match, which is only the second time in IPL history.

Consistency is the Key

https://images.assettype.com/thequint%2F2019-04%2Fddd6f27c-2c73-47d3-84f1-d547f46dad9e%2F04.jpg?q=35&auto=format%2Ccompress&w=1200Consistency has been the key for Warner, not only in this season of the IPL, but throughout the tournament’s history.

Warner’s 574 runs in 10 matches have come at an astronomical average of 71.75. Meanwhile, his overall IPL average is 42.87. The Australian batsman has scored his runs at a very high pace, maintaining a strike rate of 146.05.

But Warner was not new to success in the IPL. Before his unfortunate break in 2018, Warner has scored more than 500 runs in every season of IPL since 2014. In fact, he has scored the highest runs among overseas players in IPL history.

At number four, he is the only foreign batsman among the top five run getters in IPL history. His average of 42.87 is best among the top five. His 4,588 runs from 124 innings is again the least number of innings played by batsmen in top five.

Gearing up For England 2019

There was never even an iota of doubt that Warner wouldn’t be part of the World Cup squad, especially after poor record of the national team last year. So, on 15 April when Australia’s 15-man squad was announced the selectors did very little option. Warner’s glorious IPL form also had some bearing on the final outcome.

David Warner is slated to return home in the first week of May for World Cup preparation. If he continues to wield the bat in England the way he has been doing in IPL 2019 not only it will be momentous for Australia, but David Warner might also end up starting a new chapter in his cricketing career.

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