David Warner is usually unstoppable in T20 cricket but he carried the burden for his team’s latest loss after getting things all wrong.
David Warner took full responsibility for his side’s defeat as Sunrisers Hyderabad remain anchored to the bottom of the IPL ladder after losing to Chennai Super Kings on Thursday morning.
Inside an empty stadium because of India’s frightening COVID-19 situation, Warner went past 10,000 T20 runs with his 50th IPL half century but it wasn’t enough for Hyderabad.
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Batting first, the Aussie opener compiled a sluggish 57 from 55 balls before some late, lusty blows from Manish Pandey (61 off 46) and Kane Williamson (26 not out off 10) dragged Sunrisers to 3/171 from their 20 overs.
It wasn’t enough as Chennai cruised to a seven-wicket victory with nine deliveries to spare, thanks to half centuries from Ruturaj Gaikwad (75) and Faf du Plessis (56).
Warner’s timing and placement was off all innings as he regularly found the fielders, managing just three fours and two sixes.
“I take full responsibility. The way that I batted was obviously very slow,” Warner said post-match. “I was hitting a lot of fielders and (was) very, very frustrated.
“I take full responsibility from a batting point of view. I felt (with) Manish coming back into the team, the way that he batted was exceptional. And obviously Kane and Kedar (Jadhav) towards the back end there, they put some boundaries away and got us to a respectable total.
“I felt that we were probably just below par from where we were. But yeah look, at the end of the day, I’ll take full responsibility.”
Chennai lead the eight-team table with five wins from six games and a better net run-rate than Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore in second. Meanwhile, Sunrisers Hyderabad have won just one of their six games.
Eerie scenes as COVID crisis worsens
Scores of police guarded the barricaded gates around the Feroz Shah Kotla ground in Delhi during the match. Normally the stadium would be packed with 40,000 people for major cricket games but with Delhi accounting for more than a tenth of the 3200 coronavirus deaths recorded across India each day, the city has been put under a night curfew and tough, daytime restrictions.
Only a handful of people were on the darkened streets around the stadium, kept empty as all IPL games have been this year.
As the crisis grows, TV coverage is now regularly interrupted with appeals by commentators and pundits such as former Australian bowler Brett Lee and England spinner Graeme Swann for viewers to stay home and wear masks.
IPL players are being moved around Indian cities in full PPE hazard suits with face masks. They are now tested every two days and cannot even order food from outside their bio-bubble hotels.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India has assured the players that they are “totally safe” but three Australians have left the IPL and many of the foreigners who remain say they are nervous.
“We are constantly talking about this situation that’s unfolding outside of our bubble,” said England and Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan this week.
“It’s not nice to be honest, watching from afar, certainly considering how lucky we are to be in a bubble and not be affected by it very much.”
The IPL bubbles will remain tightly sealed around the players for the rest of the tournament which ends on May 30.