Controversial superstar David Warner has been a “fantastic” addition to the Australian cricket team after his suspension but there’s no coming back from his captaincy ban.
That’s the verdict from Australian coach Justin Langer, who welcomed Warner back into the fold after Sandpapergate and likened his personality to that of flamboyant unbeaten boxing legend Floyd Mayweather.
The left-handed opening batsman produced an outstanding World Cup last year, followed by a poor Ashes, but then delivered a sensational Australian Test summer highlighted by a career-best 335 not out.
Warner, 33, has maintained his aggressive approach to the game and proven himself a valuable asset after facing a career crossroads. However, formal leadership roles will remain beyond his reach, Langer believes.
“Officially he’s been banned from captaining Australia again,” Langer told Sports Sunday.
“Look, I support him [as a senior player]. Having David Warner in the team is like having Floyd Mayweather in the team.
“I love him. He talks it up, he is a great player by any calculations and he’s been fantastic in the team over the last two years.
“I don’t think he’ll be a captain of Australia again because of where we’re at, but I love having him in the team. He’s an absolute ripper.”
Warner has been a polarising figure for much of his cricket career but has an irrefutable record.
He boasts 7,422 Test runs, averaging 48.94 across 84 matches. His record in Australia is astonishing, with an average of 65.94 from 43 matches; 18 of his 24 Test centuries have been made on home soil.
Warner will be a key figure when Australia face India in a blockbuster home Test series this summer – COVID-19 restrictions allowing.
Warner’s fellow Sandpapergate villain, former Australian captain Steve Smith, is now eligible for captaincy roles once again. Warner was pinpointed as the ringleader of the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, while Smith failed to prevent the incident rather than actively partaking.