David Warner lands for IPL joyride, ready for Jofra Archer threat

Written by Sumit Seth

Whatever his form leading up to IPL, David Warner is a different player when he dons the Sunrisers jersey. This time he is coming off a lean spell with Australia in the limited overs series against England. Jofra Archer gave him a tough time, removing him four out of five times in the T20s and ODIs.

The two will face off again when SRH play Rajasthan Royals. Touching down in Dubai, Warner dismissed talk of Archer having his number. “As I always say, the faster you bowl the further you go,” Warner said at the end of his reply to a question on how he planned to counter Archer in the tournament.

“At the end of the day, they are going to get you out, doesn’t matter if they have your measure or not. He bowled three good balls to me, I can’t do anything about that just like Stuart Broad bowled about eight good balls at me (in the Ashes). When two (good) guys are at their peak at that moment, it’s very difficult to unsettle that, but in the last game I batted pretty well against Archer so there is nothing to worry about,” said the SRH captain.

The SRH love affair began in 2014, the first time IPL was held in the UAE—only the second half was played in India due to general elections. He was the fourth highest scorer with 528 runs. During this lockdown, Warner gained popularity in India for his social media posts dancing with family members to hit Tollywood (Telugu films) and Bollywood numbers. It started due to “pure boredom”, he said. “I know a lot about Bollywood and Tollywood, I kind of have my own stuff.”

“My five-year-old daughter had seen something months and months before I started, and she made me start dancing to the Bollywood and Tollywood songs. Then we decided to pick some dances from some famous scenes. It was just entertaining, I liked it and other people enjoyed it. It was good fun,” Warner said.

For Australia and England players, it’s moving from one bio-bubble to another, which has become the lot of athletes in this pandemic. The SRH captain said: “The next 12 months are going to be difficult for people, lot of challenges on that front. You need something that reminds you of home, of why you are there, and you need a very good bond with your teammates; that’s what is important in this bio-bubble.”

Some players will manage, but some may struggle. For those who struggle, it is important to raise an alarm, said Warner. “There are going to be challenges going from bubble to bubble. Mental health will be important. We all have to be smart and put our hands up if we feel things are getting challenging and we need a bit of time out.”

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Sumit Seth