South Africa fast bowling legend and former Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Dale Steyn has questioned the IPL franchise’s decision to relieve David Warner of team captaincy and then dropping him altogether from their playing 11.
Warner was axed as captain after SRH managed just one win from their first six matches of IPL 2021 with New Zealand’s Kane Williamson handed over the reins. Williamson led the team against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday for the first time this season but the result was unchanged as they slumped to their sixth loss in seven matches.
“There’s something going on there — I don’t know what’s going on there, really,” the South African great told ESPNcricinfo.
Warner had last month criticized SRH selectors’ decision to drop Manish Pandey from the playing 11. The Australian didn’t specify who he was talking about in particular.
Steyn feels Warner may have paid the price for speaking out against the team management openly. “I don’t know whether David may have questioned some of the decisions they had made, maybe when Manish Pandey was left out. I heard him say something along the lines of it wasn’t his decision or it was out of his hands. Sometimes management don’t appreciate that,” Steyn said.
He continued, “The captain of the team needs to take ownership of this squad and know who is going out onto the field, and sometimes that gets taken out of their hands. It seems like there’s definitely something happening behind closed doors that the public are not aware of.”
Steyn’s theory echoes with former New Zealand pacer Simon Doull who has also proposed a similar reason for Warner being sacked as captain.
“I think there must have been a falling out somewhere along the lines and not with the team, there has to be a falling out with the coaching structure,” Doull told Cricbuzz. “After what he said in that game about leaving Manish Pandey out, it was not his decision at all, he didn’t want to do it clearly. And basically, you passed the buck, you blamed it on someone else and I think he has paid the price for that.”
Meanwhile, SRH continue to languish at the bottom of the IPL 2021 points table with their path towards playoffs getting narrower with each passing game.