Australian opener David Warner will be leading Delhi Capitals in the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in absence of an injured Rishabh Pant, reported ESPNCricinfo on Thursday. Head coach Ricky Ponting and the team management have reached an agreement that the Aussie star is the best man to lead the side on an interim basis as Pant gradually recovers after surviving a horrific car crash in December. With Pant ruled out for the entirety of 2023, the Capitals had to look out for an interim skipper and Warner was a standout along with Axar Patel, who was the vice-captain in 2022.
This will be the second time Warner leads the Capitals. In his previous stint with the franchise from 2009 and 2013, he led the side in a couple of matches. The opener was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2014 and in 2016, he led the side to their maiden title.
In terms of matches won, Warner is the fifth joint-most successful skipper. He has won 35 out of 69 matches as a captain, lost 32 and tied two matches.
The load of captaincy also did not affect Warner. He has 2,840 runs at an average of 47.33 and a strike rate of 142.28, with one century and 26 fifties as a captain. But a dip in his form in the first half of the 2021 IPL forced SRH to bench Warner and replace him with Kane Williamson as a captain.
This led to a fallout between the team and Warner and he was released ahead of the 2022 mega auction. In the auction, Capitals bagged him for Rs 6.25 crore. He emerged as the team’s leading run-scorer with 432 runs at an average of 48, a strike rate of 150.52 with five fifties.
Capitals missed out on a playoffs spot after a narrow loss to Mumbai Indians in their must-win final league match. DC finished in fifth place in the points table with seven wins and seven losses and a total of 14 points.
Warner recently struggled during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against India and returned home after injuring his elbow in the second Test at Delhi. Despite a dip in his red-ball form, he still remains a strong limited-overs batters and would be aiming to use his IPL experience to help his side during the ICC Cricket World Cup, which will be held in India from October-November this year.
DC will start their IPL 2023 campaign against Lucknow Super Giants from April 1 onwards.