Wriddhiman Saha confident SRH can cope without David Warner in IPL 2018

  • In latest David Warner news, the Australian opener has stepped down from the captaincy at SRH following Cricket Australia’s decision to send him back home
  • With David Warner’s IPL 2018 participation in doubt, Saha believes that SRH squad has enough quality players to replace their captain
  • Saha believes the quantum of punishment should be same for everyone, including Smith and Warner

The Indian Premier League is just a few days away but there is already massive drama surrounding the run-up to the 11th edition. Following the Steve Smith and David Warner ball tampering incident, both Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad have plunged into crisis as the duo stepped down from their respective captain’s role. Since then Ajinkya Rahane has been handed the captaincy at RR, while SRH are yet to announce their new captain. Wriddhiman Saha IPL 2018 SRH wicket-keeper spoke to the media recently about the ball tampering incident in Cape Town and the future of David Warner in the team. In other David Warner news, Cricket Australia has asked the opener along with Smith and Bancroft to return to Australia as soon as possible.

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Wriddhiman Saha IPL 2018 – Enough replacements in SRH to fill Warner’s void if need

Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor VVS Laxman cleared the air and said that the franchise will wait on Cricket Australia’s decision before making their own decision regarding David Warner before making their own decision. There are reports in the media that both Warner and Smith could face a lengthy ban stretching up to 1 year, which could leave David Warner’s IPL 2018 campaign in jeopardy. Speaking about the difficult situation everyone finds themselves in, Wriddhiman Saha said, “There has been no ultimate decision as yet. Our team is strong enough to replace Warner. The team was decided based on the captain. Maybe initially we will get affected but with the reserve that we have, it won’t impact much.”

Saha believes that the squad that the Sunrisers Hyderabad management assembled following the conclusion of the mega-auction in January, has enough fire-power to replace the explosive style of David Warner. “We have a good middle order with the likes of Kane Williamson, Deepak Hooda and Manish Pandey. If we get a good start from the openers (Warner and Dhawan), the pressure on the middle order will be less. We will definitely have a very strong side if Warner remains in the team. But we have enough replacements to make a good side, if not 100 percent but closer to that. We can try and fill in the void,” he said.

The Steven Smith and David Warner ball tampering incident happened in the 2nd session of Day 3 between South Africa and Australia. Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft was caught by the cameras using what appeared to be sandpaper on one side of the ball, in order to enhance the reverse swing for the fast bowlers. The whole act was by television cameras, and when the replays came on the big screen, the young Australian panicked and quickly stuffed the tool down his trousers. Soon after the end of days play, Smith and Bancroft appeared and in front of the media and admitted that the ‘leadership group’ had planned the whole act during the lunch break and they had indeed tried to cheat to get an advantage in the game. In the next few hours after the incident, the ICC banned Smith for one match and docked his full match fees while Bancroft was handed 3 demerit points and fined 75% of his match fees.

With David Warner IPL 2018 situation getting chaotic by the minute, SRH have a few decisions to make in the coming few days. The obvious favourite to take up the captains role would be Warner’s fellow opener, Shikhar Dhawan. Asked whether Dhawan would be the right choice to replace Warner at the helm, Saha said, “It will be a team management decision, whoever be the captain the goal will be to win for SRH. We will have to go by the team management’s decision. Ultimately the aim will be to win.”

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Saha: Don’t think only two people were involved

Saha was speaking to the reporters at the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club and the line of questioning soon came to the ball tampering incident and what the wicket-keeper thought about it. “I don’t think only two people were involved in this. I’m sure the whole team should be held responsible. It’s about playing clean cricket and not trying to tamper with the ball and then get a batsman out,” said Saha. The 33-year-old also labelled both Steve Smith and David Warner as being the brand ambassadors of the game with a massive fan following. He concluded the topic by saying, “It’s not good if they bring bad name to the sport. I don’t know the rule but it (quantum of punishment) should be same for everybody. The rule should be same for everyone.”

David Warner’s IPL 2018 was scheduled to start on 9th April when Sunrisers Hyderabad face-off against Rajasthan Royals at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Before hosting the defending champions Mumbai Indians on the same ground on 12th April.

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