Pressure continues to mount on Aussie cricket star David Warner after another disappointing display for his winless Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League. Warner's side slumped to a fifth straight defeat after going down to Royal Challengers Bangalore by 23 runs in Bengaluru.
Warner's role at the top of the order for Delhi has come under fire from fans this season, with many insisting his strike rate has not been good enough to set a competitive platform with the bat. The 36-year-old has also faced widespread scrutiny about whether he is the right man to captain the Delhi side, who are coached by Australian legend Ricky Ponting.
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The IPL veteran was once again asked to hold the Delhi innings together as wickets tumbled around him early on - with Australian teammate Mitch Marsh among those removed after a four-ball duck. The Delhi skipper tried in vain to anchor his side's innings in spite of the top-order collapse, but holed out for 19 off 13 balls.
Warner and Ponting cut glum figures on the bench as the Capitals succumbed to 9-151, with only Manish Pandey's 50 helping them get anywhere near RCB's 6-174. Despite succumbing to another concerning defeat, Warner tried to put a positive spin on the team's predicament after the match.
Maiden IPL wicket in front of his home crowd for VijayKumar Vyshak. He gets David Warner pic.twitter.com/3AqGUQqR4e
— 🅒🅡🅘︎🅒︎🄲🅁🄰🅉🅈𝗠𝗥𝗜𝗚𝗨™ 🇮🇳❤️ (@MSDianMrigu) April 15, 2023
"We have to have a hard look at ourselves and come back strong with five days off," Warner said. "Things aren't working at the moment, but teams have come back from 0-5 so hopefully we can be that second team."
"The positives were great, with our bowling and fielding exceptional. Our attitude and energy were amazing. But yet again it was just our batting. We're going to have to try to work out how we're going to take on the powerplay and not lose early wickets, especially in the first two or three overs."
While much of the spotlight will invariably fall on Warner after his side's latest failure, the truth is the Aussie is currently the second-highest run-scorer in the competition. Warner's batting has effectively been carrying the Capitals, although his 228 runs in five innings have come at a strike rate of 116.92 - which is much slower than other top-line batters in the IPL.
Warner's latest innings has left the cricket world divided, with critics continuing to point to his strike rate as not being up to T20 standard. Others argued that Delhi's persistent struggles with the bat mean the Aussie veteran has had to bat more conservatively than he normally would.
I have no problems with DC! They're a really good team with some bad luck! Although, the persistence with David Warner is bewildering! He is a burden! Surely, they can find a better player/captain than him!
— Rohan Kadam (@RohanMilan) April 15, 2023
David Warner has played 195 balls so far in the tournament & is yet to hit a single six. 💀
— Un-Lucky (@Luckyytweets) April 15, 2023
David Warner is stealing a living as a t20 cricketer. Never mind as a captain of an IPL franchise. Utter madness
— Joshua Carnn (@JoshuaCarnn) April 15, 2023
How can you judge David Warner strike rate when you see his team condition what other option does he have #RCBvDC
— Ritik Chandel (@Ritikab17360) April 15, 2023
— Vishesh Roy (@vroy38) April 15, 2023
@RK_sports You blamed David Warner for low strike rate. When the Whole DC team performs like this what do you expect from Warner.
— R V (@RVinoth59991164) April 15, 2023
@DelhiCapitals has failed to utilise the Indian contingent to the best. Sarfaraz Khan has been a prolific run scorer in the domestic cricket but has been sidelined from the playing XI. Yash Dhul has been demoted to play at no 4. David Warner's strike rate has been disappointing.
— Zac (@zac_1007) April 15, 2023
Delhi Capitals rooted to bottom of IPL table
Debutant medium-pacer Vijaykumar Vyshak was the key man for RCB, with his 3-20 doing most to restrict Delhi's chase. Earlier, RCB's maestro Virat Kohli scored his 47th IPL half-century by making 50 off 34 balls, including six fours and a six, to launch their innings. Aussie allrounder Marsh did well to restrict RCB's total after taking 2-18 off two overs.
Glenn Maxwell belted 24 off 14 balls, with three big sixes in an entertaining cameo which helped ensure Delhi remain rooted at the bottom of the table. They are the only team yet to win a match in this season's IPL.
In the day's later game at Lucknow, Matt Short, Australia's BBL player of the tournament, again showed his worth with another sparkling little knock of 34 off 22 balls for Punjab Kings, which helped them squeeze to a two-wicket win over the hosting Lucknow Super Giants. Lucknow made 8-159, centred on captain KL Rahul's 74 off 56 and decorated with a couple of huge Marcus Stoinis sixes in his 11-ball knock of 15.
But Punjab reached 8-161, with Short's five fours and a six at the top of the innings helping provide the launch pad. Sikandar Raza's 57 and an unbeaten 23 from Shahrukh Khan got them across the line.
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