The ninth season of the Twenty20 battle has just one overseas skipper currently, that is David Warner © AFP
The ninth season of the Twenty20 battle has just one overseas skipper currently, that is David Warner © AFP

Captaincy comes with many challenges. Being a captain, it is his responsibility to build up a team from a pool of random players, to maintain the different way of dealing with the ten other players, be the cleverest of the lot to think how to use the players and at what position. Talking about captains, David Warner has been one of the most successful ones this season of Indian Premier League (IPL), but the road was way tougher than the rest of the captains and for valid reasons. But what, exactly, are the reasons behind saying that he should be ranked way high? Let’s find out. READ: IPL 2016: Shikhar Dhawan praises David Warner for easing pressure on him

The first thing that comes to our minds that is something different about the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) skipper is the fact that he is not an Indian. It is not as simple a point as it seems. The ninth season of the T20 cricket’s greatest extravaganza has just one overseas skipper, though, during the initiation, had two — the other being David Miller of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Miller had a forgettable journey with KXIP as captain, and was replaced by Murali Vijay halfway through the tournament.

Not being from the country that most of the players are makes things difficult for Warner, for communication becomes the first barrier he needed to overcome; one must remember that, unlike some other countries, English is not the only language spoken in India. The news of Warner learning Bengali to communicate with ace SRH bowler Mustafizur Rahman is already among top searches on the internet, but it is not easy to understand what someone, who speaks a completely alien language, is trying to tell and make them understand one’s own demand. Warner, with probably some magic trick, has mastered the art and has utilised Mustafizur the way very few could have. That is probably where his excellence lies. READ: IPL 2016: David Warner is dead serious about his cricket these days, says Ravi Shastri

The direct benefits that Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and other IPL captains get is that they know the country and its grounds like the way to their home. They have played for so many years on the same grounds, be it international or domestic matches, that they know by heart the way the outfield reacts in different times of the year, the dew factor, the boundaries, even how the pitch generally is. All that experience comes in to play when they place field, introduce spin, play pacers. Warner’s T20 experience on Indian soil totals to 4 T20Is apart from IPL. Before being handed the captaincy of SRH in 2014, Warner had played 55 IPL matches for Delhi Daredevils (DD), which included 7 games in South Africa in the year 2009.

So far, only two overseas captains have lifted the coveted trophy. Shane Warne-led Rajasthan Royals (RR) beat MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at DY Patil Stadium to lift the inaugural edition of IPL. The second edition, too, was won by an Australian, when Adam Gilchrist led Deccan Chargers (DC); however, it must be remembered that 2009 IPL was played in South Africa, and the final took place at New Wanderers, Johannesburg. So, if Warner manages to lead his team to win the title, he will draw comparisons with Warne, whose experience of playing in India is undoubtedly way more than Warner.

Bad pun: Warne, Warner, Warnest…?

Having said all that, there still remains another area to look at. A good captain is one who applies the right tactics in the right time and place; but a better, or probably, the best captain is one who leads from front and sets examples. Warner is one of the strongest contenders for the Orange Cap (if he does that he will become the second to do the same, after Chris Gayle). Right now he is trailing behind only Kohli, who is in the form of his life. The SRH batting line-up, despite boasting names like Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan, depends on their captain. With all he has done so far in the series (not being an Indian, if I may remind for the nth time), can Warner not be considered as the best captain IPL 2016 has seen?

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)