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Indian Premier League 2021

SRH coach Brad Haddin says dropping David Warner during 2021 IPL ‘wasn’t a cricket decision’

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Brad Haddin, the assistant coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad, has opened up about the ousting of David Warner from the IPL side, stating that the decision to bench him was not a “cricket” one, and saying that factors “out of the coaching staff’s control” played a part.

The franchise, who finished last in the IPL 2021 points table, was criticised for the decision to keep Warner away from the XI for the last few games in the UAE. Though the left-hander scored only 195 runs in eight games with a strike rate of 107.73 in the tournament up until that point, fans were critical of benching the star player, who has been a consistent match-winner in the league.

Overall, Warner has scored 5,449 runs in 150 IPL matches with the four hundreds and 50 half-centuries. The opener, who captained SRH to the title in 2016, scored 848, 641, 692, and 548 runs respectively in each season from 2016 to 2020, and the sight of him being reduced to a mere cheerleader in the stands was met with sadness and anger from fans.

The 35-year-old marked a splendid turnaround in the T20 World Cup, which began just three days after the end of the IPL, to end as the Player of the Tournament. Scoring 289 runs at a strike rate of nearing 150, Warner played a pivotal run in his team’s charge to the trophy,  earning plaudits from many pundits.

SRH assistant coach Brad Haddin, a guest on The Grade Cricketer podcast, spoke about the mental toughness of the player while adding that the move to not play him in the IPL was not in the hands of the team management. “Let me tell you that it wasn’t a cricket decision he wasn’t playing. I think the one thing you’ve got to realise with Davey is that he wasn’t out of form, he was just out of match practice.

“He had a long break through Covid. He didn’t go to West Indies or Bangladesh. But he turned up in really good headspace. He was hitting the ball well. Circumstances out of all of our control, even the coaching staff’s, for some reason he didn’t play. But [his IPL exclusion] wasn’t because he was out of form. All he needed was some match time, he was hitting the ball well. He just needed to spend some time out in the middle to get the rhythm of the game again.”

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