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Will David Warner create magic for DC like he did when he captained SRH in IPL 2016?

Will David Warner create magic for Delhi Capitals like he did when he captained Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2016? David Warner is third leading run-getter (5881 runs) in the history of IPL.

IPL 2023: David Warner to captain Delhi Capitals in Rishabh Pant's absence | Walking Wicket (Images_ ©IPL/Twitter)
Warner to lead Delhi Capitals in Rishabh Pant's absence (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

The injury sustained by Rishabh Pant due to a car accident in December 2022 has not only made the Indian batting order weak in Tests, but also disturbed Delhi Capitals’ (DC) combinations ahead of IPL 2023. Pant was not only the skipper of DC, but a match-winner with bat and gloves for his side. But life moves on in cricket. India have tried KS Bharat as a replacement for Pant in Tests, while Delhi Capitals has replaced Pant with former Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) skipper David Warner as captain for the upcoming IPL season.

In fact, Delhi Capitals has no other captaincy material in the squad other than IPL veteran Warner. Delhi have the option of giving the captaincy job to in-form all-rounders Mitchell Marsh and Axar Patel. But both lack experience of leading a team. Hence, Delhi chose to play safe, relying on the experienced IPL campaigner in Warner, who had previously led SRH to an IPL title win in 2016.

Both the head coach and assistant coach of Delhi have backed the decision to play Warner as captain. So, despite Axar playing as the vice-captain in the last IPL season, head coach Ricky Ponting chose Warner as the new leader for IPL 2023. Ponting said, “…We decided to make him (Warner) the captain of the franchise. He brings a lot of passion, a lot of skill, he brings a lot of experience and has led SRH to a title. Successful IPL teams always throughout history had good, strong leaders and that's the goal at DC.”

Warner – An experienced IPL captain

Warner’s captaincy records and his form with the bat in IPL as both a player and captain speak for themselves.

Warner is eligible to captain a private league like IPL even though he might not lead Australia again after he was handed a lifetime captaincy ban for his role in the 2018 Sandpaper Gate. Warner is free to lead Delhi Capitals in the new IPL season just because it is a private league owned by BCCI.

Also, not many are aware that Warner has been part of the Delhi squad before (called Delhi Daredevils then), and even led them for a couple of games. But he tasted success when he was captain of SRH in the 2016 IPL, beating RCB in the title round by 8 runs.

As can be seen below, Warner’s batting performance for SRH has been better as captain rather than as non-captain.

Warner’s batting performance as captain & non-captain for SRH

David Warner for SRH

As Captain

As non-captain







Warner is the best captain SRH has had, winning their only title in 2016. He has also led SRH to play-offs two times.





Winning %age


Warner as SRH Captain






IPL 2016 Trophy

Warner as DC/DD Captain






IPL 2023_ David Warner to captain Delhi Capitals in Rishabh Pant's absence _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Warner has scored 5881 runs from 162 IPL games (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

Warner’s batting record in IPL






David Warner (3rd leading run-getter in IPL)






David Warner (leading run-getter for SRH in IPL)






David Warner (5th leading run-getter for DC/DD in IPL)






Balanced Delhi squad an encouraging sign for Warner

It won’t be easy for Warner. He has not been among the runs leading to the IPL season and is also coming off an injury. He will have to lead from the front and is likely to open the batting with Prithvi Shaw. However, being a seasoned IPL campaigner and also coming with rich experience leading an IPL team before, Warner can be banked on to turn things around with the bat and also as captain, and ensure a successful season for DC.

Shane Watson, assistant coach of DC, summed it up when he said, “Well, there’s a lot of very talented players, I think, yeah, David Warner for me is just at the top of the order. He’s going to continue to have a point to prove and everyone’s going to be like riding off the back of him.”

With the captaincy issue sorted, and Phil Salt wearing the gloves in absence of Pant, Delhi have other areas covered as well. They have a strong batting order with Warner and Prithvi Shaw opening the batting and experienced T20 campaigner Rilee Rossouw of South Africa to follow. They have two of the top all-rounders in Mitchell Marsh and Axar Patel, who also will form a spin pair threat with Kuldeep Yadav.

Pace bowling is sorted as well with Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Chetan Sakariya and Khaleel Ahmed in the ranks. Also, they have a few promising Indian youngsters who will be itching to set the IPL on fire. They include Mukesh Kumar, the bowler from Bengal, and Yash Dhull from Delhi. Overall, Delhi have a balanced squad despite the absence of Pant. However, Warner has big boots to fill, but he can bank on his SRH experience to lead a strong season for Delhi.

Delhi Capitals play their first game in IPL 2023 against Lucknow Super Giants on April 1 in Lucknow.


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