David Warner opened the batting: The captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad didn’t come out to open the batting against Kolkata Knight Riders.
During the 35th match of the ongoing 13th season of the Indian Premier League between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi, Kolkata Knight Riders have set a 164-run target after a mediocre start.
It was a brisk 58-run partnership between captain Eoin Morgan and wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik which aided Knight Riders in posting a competitive total.
While Morgan was dismissed on the last ball after scoring 34 (23) with the help of three fours and a six, Karthik chipped in with 29* (14) including two fours and sixes each.
For Sunrisers, pacer T. Natarajan was the pick of their bowlers with bowling figures of 4-0-40-2. All-rounder Vijay Shankar and spinner Rashid Khan registered accumulative bowling figures of 8-0-48-2 to restrict the opposition batsmen in the middle overs.
Why hasn’t David Warner opened the batting with Jonny Bairstow today?
In the second innings, Hyderabad surprised one and all by not sending in captain David Warner as wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow’s opening batsman. In eight IPL 2020 T20s this season, Warner has scored 284 runs at an average of 35.50 and a strike rate of 121.88 as an opener.
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) October 18, 2020
A quintessential opening batsman since his debut, the southpaw not opening the batting at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium isn’t because of an injury but seems to be more a reason to maximize the potential of Kane Williamson who earlier had to bat at No. 4.
It still remains unclear if Warner will replace Manish Pandey at No. 3 or will directly swap positions with Williamson by batting at No. 4.
Warner, who is playing his 135th IPL match, has batted in the middle-order in the past as well. Having first batted in the middle-order for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2013, Warner had repeated it for SRH in 2014 when the then captain Shikhar Dhawan, Aaron Finch and wicket-keeper batsman Lokesh Rahul used to play in the top-order.
All in all in the IPL, Warner has batted at No. 3 in six innings, No. 4 in 13 innings and once at No. 5. Out of Warner’s 81 T20I innings for Australia, he has played at No. 3 and No. 4 on only three and four occasions respectively.