David Warner in huge captaincy twist after Cricket Australia leadership saga

Cricket Australia might not be super keen on David Warner as skipper, but there's another team that definitely is.

David Warner.
David Warner is set to skipper the Dehli Capitals in the IPL this season, with Ricky Ponting as coach. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

David Warner's leadership skills may be surplus to requirements for Australia, but the Test opener is set to return to the world of cricket captaincy for the Dehli Capitals in the upcoming IPL season. Warner's attempt to have his lifetime leadership ban from the 2018 ball-tampering saga overturned was abandoned when he and Cricket Australia were unable to reach an agreement on the process for doing so.

The 36-year-old was a key figure in the 2018 Test match in South Africa in which he, Cameron Bancroft and then skipper Steve Smith were all handed bans of varying length, after Bancroft was spotted on camera applying sandpaper to the ball. Smith has since made a return to the leadership group as the vice-captain, substituting as skipper for the final two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar series in India after Pat Cummins returned home mid-series for personal reasons.

BRUTAL: Usman Khawaja at centre of 'spiteful' swipe after India furore

WOW: Kuhnemann lifts the lid on Ravi Jadeja act after India Test series

Warner publicly walked away from his attempt to overturn the ban prior to the Boxing Day Test, having heavily criticised Cricket Australia for what he considered a failure to offer him proper support. The 36-year-old said the saga had taken a toll on him since he began the process earlier in 2022.

The long-running bid to end the leadership ban had 'taken a toll' on Warner, who spoke about getting messages about the status of his bid on the eve of Test matches. Warner's place in the Test team remains the subject of heavy speculation, however head coach Andrew McDonald has stated the veteran opener will be a part of the squad for the World Test Championship final against India.

Warner will still play for Australia in the ODI series against India, having recovered from the fractured elbow and concussion he sustained during the second Test. Beyond that, he'll link up with former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting for the Capitals, with Ponting to coach the side.

He steps in as skipper for the Capitals following Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant's horror car crash late last year. Warner boasts a strong record as captain in the IPL, having previously captained Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2015 and 2016.

First picked up by the Capitals in 2009, he played there until 2013 before he was bought out by the Sunrisers. He had a bitter falling out with the franchise though, benched due to poor form in 2021 before eventually being replaced as skipper by Kane Williamson.

Subsequently released by Hyderabad, Warner was picked up in the 2022 IPL super auction for a return to Dehli He was the leading run-scorer for the Capitals in the last IPL season, hitting 432 runs at an average of 48. He boasts a strong record as captain in the IPL, having won 35 of 69 matches played as captain. It is the fifth best record for a skipper in the IPL.

David Warner still a Test fixture for Australia despite poor form

After being forced out of the final two matches of the Border-Gavaskar series through injury, further pressure has been placed on Warner thanks to the emergence of Travis Head as a potential opening partner for Usman Khawaja. The 36-year-old has stated that this will be his last year playing Test cricket, but he's determined to help Australia win the Ashes before bowing out.

But with Head performing so well in India, there are question marks about whether Warner has played his final Test already. The Aussies will next play a Test match in June against India in the World Test Championship final, which starts nine days before a blockbuster Ashes series in England.

David Warner has his arm looked at by an Australian trainer.
David Warner is fit and firing for the ODI series against India, having briefly return to Australia to recover from a concussion and fractured albow. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Speaking to reporters in India on Tuesday, McDonald addressed Warner's future and said he's still firmly in their plans. "I think you work through that conversation, and how each player finishes is always different," the coach said. "Some want to go out in a certain way, and others are OK with potentially being dropped out of sides.

"But at the moment Dave's fully in our plans for the World Test Championship final, he's coming back for the one-day series (against India), he's recovered from his injury. So we'll see Dave back in Australian colours on March 17 and we'll go from there."

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.