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War-hero: Bad boy to mature leader of men

Sublime with bat & inspirational as skipper, Warner credits IPL triumph to support from senior teammates & backroom staff.

Published: 31st May 2016 06:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st May 2016 06:53 AM   |  A+A-

War

BENGALURU: David Warner was the big bad boy of Australian cricket. His fiery way of playing, sledging, off-the-field troubles and all, was the way he used to play cricket. In fact, he was seen in ‘action’ against India too on occasions. However, things have changed. The batsman is definitely a calmer version of himself.

When the Sunrisers Hyderabad won the ninth IPL here on Sunday, it was very clear that he had achieved something as a leader. He has managed a team having two international captains (Eoin Morgan and Kane Williamson), and led them to a title in style.

The team was without strike bowler Ashish Nehra and star batsman Yuvraj Singh for quite a few games, but he used the available resources well. His performance with the bat deserves a special mention. With the IPL trophy and coach Tom Moody next to him, it was this calm Warner who was speaking to the media. There appeared to be immense satisfaction in what the team had achieved. The questions thrown at him — even cheeky ones — brought forth mature answers.

Despite his immense contribution, Warner called it a team effort. “It’s not about me. It’s the team. I have said this from the start. The success that we have now goes down to all the support the team gets from off the field, the boss, the chairman, wife, support staff, the players who don’t play, and the eleven players who walk out on the field. That is why we are here today with the Cup.”

When asked about his role as the Sunrisers’s captain, Warner credited the counsel he received from those around him while in action. “The plus I had was the two international captains who were with me (Morgan and Williamson). It will be inappropriate for me to say that I did it all on my own, that I made decisions myself because I well and truly didn’t. I had a lot of guys talking to me, on the boundary, whether coming on the field, Tom (Moody) himself. I had a lot of ideas bouncing off me. Without the guys giving me ideas, we wouldn’t have the trophy.”

Moody was full of praise for his countryman. “He has been an enormous influence. There is no question he is a world-class player, and not just in this format. He is a dominant player and right up there among the best.”

Royal Challengers Bangalore coach Daniel Vettori too was full of praise for Warner. “When you have a captain who opens the batting, starts everything off, gets the momentum going, everyone wants to get behind. The effort they (Virat Kohli and Warner) put on the field, the passion they show, all that makes them natural leaders.”

vivekphadnis@newindianexpress.com

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