'What on earth': Cricket world stunned by brutal David Warner axing

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David Warner, pictured here during a Sunrisers Hyderabad game in the IPL.
David Warner looks on during a Sunrisers Hyderabad game in the IPL. (Photo by Qamar Sibtain/The India Today Group via Getty Images)

David Warner has been sensationally dropped by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, leaving cricket fans around the world stunned.

One of the giants of the Indian Premier League, Warner was formerly the captain of the franchise and has become idolised by Sunrisers fans.

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The Australian opener, whose run-scoring at Hyderabad has made him perhaps the most successful of all IPL exports, had the team's captaincy stripped from him earlier this year.

And on Monday he was left out of their team altogether for a second time this season in Dubai.

It was another big call to ditch the 34-year-old from the team following his two failures with the bat since the league resumed after its Covid-19-related break, even though Warner had also been sidelined for one match in May before the interruption.

The Sunrisers' Aussie coach Trevor Bayliss explained that Warner and other senior members of the squad had been left out to give an opportunity to younger players as Hyderabad are already out of contention for a playoff place.

“We’ve got a lot of young players here, and for this match we decided obviously we’re going to make a few changes in the team," he said.

"But to give some of the young players who haven’t been a part of the 18 and we had to bring them to the game, give them the opportunity to come along and experience a game."

David Warner, pictured here in action for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2019.
David Warner in action for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2019. (AP Photo/ Mahesh Kumar A.)

It proved to be the correct decision as Warner's replacement Jason Roy inspired the struggling Sunrisers to a seven-wicket win, just their second victory in 10 matches of this year's interrupted tournament.

The English World Cup star Roy, who's been twiddling his thumbs waiting for a chance while Warner's been struggling, gave them fresh impetus with his knock of 60.

Captain Kane Williamson's unbeaten 51 helped steer the Sunrisers to 3-167 and a victory over Rajasthan Royals with nine balls to spare.

Despite the victory, fans were up in arms over Warner's brutal axing.

David Warner's stunning fall from grace at Hyderabad

Warner, who led Hyderabad to their maiden IPL title in 2016 and has scored more than 4000 runs for them, has paid the price for a season where he's not only been down on runs but where his scoring rate has dropped from its usual impressive 140 to a sluggish 108.

The highest-scoring overseas player in the league's history, Warner sits in fifth place among all IPL scorers with 5449 runs.

However has only compiled 195 from his eight knocks this season, while his two innings since the league's resumption saw him score 0 and two.

Hyderabad chased down Rajasthan's 5-164, compiled largely off the back of skipper Sanju Samson's 82 off 57 balls, with some comfort thanks to the blistering start given to them by Roy whose 60 came off 42 balls, featuring eight fours and a six.

Williamson, who took over the captaincy from Warner in May, was his usual masterful self, hitting the winning boundary off Mustafizur Rahman.

"Good to be on the right side. We want to build on this, want to see the younger players take their opportunity and enjoy the cricket," said the New Zealander with what cannot have been the most comforting message for Warner, who'll be 35 next month.

Roy took full advantage of his first innings this season, dominating two half-century stands with Wriddhiman Saha (18) and Williamson, while hitting left-arm spinner Rahul Tewatia for three fours and a six in one over.

with AAP

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