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Warner on blistering World Cup after poor IPL: 'If you keep working hard, you will always have a second chance'

"I was batting extremely well in the nets, and it was only a matter of time before it all started to work out"

Player of the Tournament of the T20 World Cup 2021 David Warner has revealed he was training the "hardest I ever did" and knew he would get a "second chance" to prove himself after he was sacked as captain and eventually dropped by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2021. When he turned out in Australian colours only a few weeks later, Warner was the second-highest scorer in the World Cup with a tally of 289 runs, an average of over 48, and a strike rate that jumped to 146.70 from 107.73 in the IPL.
"Whatever may have been the reason for me not finding a spot in an IPL team, I can tell you I was training the hardest I ever did," Warner told the Economic Times. "I didn't miss a single day. I was batting extremely well in the nets, and it was only a matter of time before it all started to work out. So yes, while it hurt, I knew I would have another opportunity. Sport is a great leveller, and if you are true to the sport and keep working hard, you will always have a second chance. I just wanted to keep working the hardest and stay true. I am glad it worked out for me.
"When you are dropped from the team you have loved the most for years without any real fault of yours and stripped of captaincy without being given a reason, it hurts.
"At the same time, there are no complaints. The fans in India have always been there for me, and it is for them that you play. We play to entertain. We play to push for excellence."
Warner captained Sunrisers to the 2016 title and scored over 4000 runs for them over eight seasons. However, he had a disappointing 2021, scoring 195 runs in eight innings at an average of 24.37. Midway through the tournament, he was replaced by Kane Williamson as the captain and in the UAE leg of the tournament, he featured in just two of the seven games.
Explaining Warner's exclusion on ESPNcricinfo's Time Out, Tom Moody, who was the director of cricket at Sunrisers in 2021 and former head coach for seven seasons, said the franchise wanted to give more opportunities to other players ahead of the new season with the big auction coming up.
"A lot of it [dropping Warner out] was to do with the fact that Sunrisers got to a point where they could not qualify," Moody said. "It was a case of 'let's have a look at Jason Roy and few other young players that are in the squad and give them the opportunity to see what they can prove so we, as a franchise, can look forward to what it looks like moving into 2022'."
It remains to be seen if Sunrisers will retain Warner, with the retention deadline being November 30. All the existing franchises can retain upto four players, and unlike the previous big auction ahead of the 2018 season, there will be no right-to-match cards (RTM) at the auction this time.
Warner also admitted he was "relieved" and "happy" for having repaid the faith of the Australian management after a below-par performance in the IPL. His run-tally in this tournament is the highest for Australia in an edition of men's T20 World Cup. He said the team "peaked at the right time" to be crowned T20 champions.
"It is one of the happiest moments of my life," he said. "Before the tournament started, I had told you that we were ready. We had a very good team, and every member was determined to leave a mark. Thereafter, we peaked at the right time and once we peaked and everyone started doing their part, there was no looking back. We have an amazing bunch here and can't tell you how happy everyone is."