Former England captain Eoin Morgan thinks Delhi Capitals skipper David Warner is going to be a contender for the Orange Cap –awarded to the highest run-getter of a season — in the Indian Premier League (IPL), while adding that the left-handed opener is still getting runs for the team.
On Tuesday, Warner scored his third fifty of IPL 2023 against Mumbai Indians at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, though Delhi eventually crashed towards their fourth consecutive defeat. But his 47-ball 51 came at a low strike rate of 108.51, as he struggled to accelerate, something which has been a recurring issue for him in the competition.
“Within sides, you have the big-name players that you want to perform. But when you solely become reliant on that player and there is probably not much being produced in the rest of the batting unit, it can sometimes hamper a player’s performance and progression.”
David is still scoring a lot of runs, he is ultimately going to be an Orange Cap contender and has (recently) surpassed 6,000 runs in the IPL (this year). The quality and performance are certainly still there,” said Morgan in a virtual interaction organized by JioCinema, where he’s seen as an IPL expert.
Morgan, who ushered England into the era of playing white-ball cricket in an attacking fashion and led them to a 2019 ODI World Cup triumph at home, felt the talk around strike rates being more important in T20s is not that great.
“Strike rates are an interesting one because the chatter around it has been when the wickets have been lost and ultimately, when the sides have been beaten. One of the hardest things to do is to actually take on risk while you are losing your wickets consistently.
When you sit back and judge it, to get the understanding of where the batter is trying to get to. Shikhar Dhawan was a great example as he was batting throughout the innings and got 99. For some part of the innings, people were saying he needs to get on with it as wickets were falling continuously from the other end,” he elaborated.
“Every experienced player knows you need a partnership to get going and we also saw Warner trying to get going, and build a partnership while Axar Patel came in and played beautifully (against Mumbai Indians). In the majority of the games, the strike rate is down to partner at the other end and things not necessarily clicking,” he added.
Talking about Kolkata Knight Riders, a team Morgan captained to being runners-up in IPL 2021, the former left-handed batter doesn’t think the current think-tank will drop Andre Russell, who is yet to fire with the bat and hasn’t bowled a single delivery.
“I don’t really see that happening, considering I spent a couple of years alongside him in the team. What he adds is a huge amount of value; he scored runs and took wickets last year. One of the most impressive things with KKR at the moment is that they are not reliant on him, (Sunil) Narine, and are obviously missing their captain (Shreyas Iyer),” the former KKR skipper said.
So, you are not solely reliant on your big performers which can take a lot of pressure away from any expectations that they have and allow them a little bit longer to get the performances that they need. When sides go away from that, they are solely reliant on their senior players to do well. If you look at the bottom of the table at the moment, those are solely reliant on their senior players to perform well, which is not KKR,” he added.
The 36-year-old Morgan expressed happiness over Kolkata’s non-superstar players leading the charge for the side’s recent victories over Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Titans.
Against Bangalore, crucial contributions from Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakaravarthy, and debutant Suyash Sharma took Kolkata to an 81-run victory. Against Gujarat, a century partnership between Venkatesh Iyer and captain Nitish Rana was followed by Rinku Singh smashing five sixes on the last five balls to script an unforgettable victory for the two-time IPL champions.
“The most impressive aspect about them has been the performance of the players who are not the superstars in the side and are coming out to prove a point. Your superstar players will put in individual performances and win you the odd game. But the sense of a gelling team comes when your young or second-string guys come out and perform, which has been behind their impressive performances,” Morgan concluded.