The Return of the Raging Bull, David Warner

They say when you’re down and out, the only way is up. With 692 runs, 8 fifties and an unbeaten daddy hundred in this year’s IPL, David Warner will nod in agreement. For a cricketer in his prime form, there isn’t a bigger heartbreak than missing an entire year of playing international cricket. He made a mistake and he’s paid for it. It’s an extremely competitive, tough world out there and no player is irreplaceable. But Warner is. He knows what he’s missed. And he made sure everyone knew. From the Baggy Greens to the Orange Army, from Australia to India, from South Africa to… everyone.

The Comeback Year

2019 has been the year of comebacks. While Hardik Pandya bounced back with a bang to deter his critics, another player from Down Under returned after a year-long hiatus. He started off by participating in the BPL, but an elbow injury ruled him out early. He didn’t stop. The IPL was always his happy hunting ground, and he wasn’t going to mess it up after he missed playing the last season. Having a couple of good seasons is one thing, but being remarkably consistent year after year is an example of innate confidence. He’s fearless, he’s dominating. The fire in his belly is now setting stadiums ablaze. His fours are cheered, his sixes are applauded. And can you imagine a deafening roar from the stands when he dives like a ninja just to save a single at the boundary? Yes, that. That admiration is unbelievable. He’s taken the bull by the horns. He is The Bull.

Beware of the Bull

Sunrisers’ Sunshine

David Warner’s return to supreme form this IPL has been more than a blessing for Sunrisers. After 12 matches, they’re placed comfortably in the Top 4 with the best Net Run Rate in the tournament. Even with all the permutations and combinations, they’re likely to qualify for the playoffs, unless some drastic results affect their chances. Warner has done his job. Once again, he’s carried the weight on his shoulders, scoring the majority of his team’s runs. He doesn’t mind that though. He almost always knows how many runs he’s going to get even before the season begins. His confidence is sky-high. You can see it in his body language. You can see it when he switches to a right-handed batsman to play the Switch Hit.

Advantage Australia at the World Cup

It’s the year of the World Cup. For some players, the IPL would have probably been their last chance to earn the coveted ticket to England, or even to get their groove back before the biggest tournament in world cricket. For Warner, it was a statement he needed to make desperately. His batting has been a testament to what he brings to the World Cup stage this year. Brute force, mental strength and total domination – all while carrying the smiling, happy face of an excited kid. “It is going back to being still while batting,” he says in an interview with the ICC after his IPL sign-off. 13 months away from international cricket certainly seemed to have helped the southpaw focus more on his game. He isn’t losing steam anytime soon.

Warn-ing signs for opponents

In the 2015 World Cup, Warner scored 345 runs in 8 matches with an average of almost 50. He finished 11th in the list of top run-scorers. The only Australian above him was Steven Smith, 6th on the list. Australia go into the World Cup as defending champions this time and they are firm favourites for a reason. After their ridiculous winning streak against India and more recently Pakistan, they would be delighted to welcome a raging Warner at the top. This is the year of redemption. This is the year of David Warner.