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Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting feels David Warner can regain his form while leading Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League.
The Australia opener endured a torrid time with the bat during the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar series. Looking out of sorts in Indian conditions, the southpaw could manage a paltry 193 runs at an average of just 24.12 as Australia lost the series 2-1. However, Ponting feels that the explosive opener can get back to his devastating best in familiar terrains.
Warner was in sensational form last season when he led SRH to their maiden IPL title. He led from the front and scored 848 runs in 17 matches including 9 fifties. And Ponting has said that the added responsibility of captaincy can spur Warner to do well with the willow.
“On the back of a slightly disappointing Test series, he’s back at a championship-winning team and he’s captain,” Ponting told cricket.com.au. “I think he loves that responsibility. And he’s an opening batsman. You’d think the Player of the Tournament is going to be a spinner or an opening batsman.
Warner’s team began their title defence in style as they crushed Royal Challengers Bangalore by 35 runs in the season opener but Warner had a disappointing game with the bat. The 30-year old could manage only 14 runs but Ponting backed his compatriot to scoop the Player of the Tournament award.
“That’s the way the T20 game is right now, so I think Davey will be Player of the Tournament. You always like to go into any tournament with a lot of runs under your belt, but to me, Davey is the sort of guy that it won’t bother too much,” the batting legend said.
“He’s back into a really comfortable environment … and they’ve brought in a couple of really good inclusions player-wise as well. And I think the fact that it’s T20 cricket, against the white ball and on very good pitches that you get in India, I’m sure he’ll have another good tournament,” he added.
Speaking about Warner’s performance last season, Ponting said:“The way he played last year, having coached against him a few times, he was just about the standout performer. Virat was unbelievably good, but Davey wasn’t far behind.
Ponting also had a word of praise for Warner’s captaincy.
“And to be fair, the Sunrisers will need him again to play the way he did and lead the way he did. He was very impressive with his captaincy. You could see him on the field that he was very much like Smith. He’s a couple of overs ahead of the game, marshalling his troops really well.
“And you can see that he’s really passionate about it, the energy and the intensity was really coming out of him. That was great to see. It’s great to see these young Aussie guys get a chance to lead their teams and more importantly do well,” the former Mumbai Indians coach concluded.