David Warner was "shocked" and "disappointed" on being told he would no longer captain the Sunrisers Hyderabad, their director of cricket Tom Moody has revealed. Moody explained that after five losses in six games under Warner, it came down to choosing how best to use the four overseas-player slots, with the team identifying Kane Williamson as their new captain.
"It means firstly that he's not going to be playing, purely a decision based on combination. We've come to a conclusion that the two overseas batters, allrounder and Rashid Khan is the best combination. We've looked at it closely," Moody told Star Sports before the Sunrisers' game against the Rajasthan Royals on Sunday. "[Jonny] Bairstow's form and Williamson's form is at a great height and we are very thrilled the way they are playing.
"We had to make a hard call and someone had to miss out, and unfortunately for Davey, this time it's him. He was obviously shocked and disappointed. And we'd be disappointed if he wasn't feeling that way.
"As it goes with elite sportsmen, they want to be playing and proving themselves and doing the best they can for the team. But he has come to terms with the logic behind what we are trying to achieve from a team's perspective and has been terrific since. He has rallied around the team and, more importantly, the team has rallied around him."
Although Warner scored 193 runs, including two half-centuries, in six innings at an average of 32.16, his strike rate was only 110.28. The Sunrisers were also bottom of the table after one win from six games - now one win from seven - under Warner's leadership.
Trevor Bayliss, the team coach, said that the Sunrisers, moving forward, would be looking to get some overs from an experienced overseas allrounder - one of Mohammad Nabi and Jason Holder. And when asked if Warner would return to the XI, Bayliss said that if the new-look team did get on a winning run, then it could mean an extended period on the bench for Warner.
"It's a big decision, he's a trooper, he's doing the 12th-man duties as you would expect," Bayliss said after the first half of the match. "With everyone, we would like to stick with the same team for a lot of games if we could. That means playing well and winning a few games in a row. But it also means giving players a few opportunities and not discarding them after one game."
After the Sunrisers' loss to the Royals on Sunday, Williamson pointed out that the Sunrisers had many leaders in their squad, with a number of players having had long stints with the team. While he said that "all cards are on the table" when asked if Warner would return to the XI, he stressed that the team needed to stay together, and small adjustments could be the catalyst in changing the season around.
Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx