David Warner Sunrisers Hyderabad IPL 2016 trophy
David Warner proudly hoists the IPL trophy after playing a starring role for the Sunrisers HyderabadIANS

When David Warner, a little sheepishly, almost like he felt it was all a bit too much, walked up to the podium to take the IPL trophy from the new BCCI president Anurag Thakur, there was nobody in that building who deserved it more. Shaping a team in his mould, and while doing all that, leading from the front with the bat, with little to no support on more than a few occasions, Warner showed what a great batsman and leader he is.

VVS Laxman, one of the members of a star-studded SRH think-tank, which also includes Tom Moody and Muttiah Muralitharan, was all praise for the Sunrisers captain, who ended up scoring a brilliant 69 in the final to take his final tally for the season to 848 runs, second only to the peerless Virat Kohli.

"I think he led from the front," Laxman told the IPL's official website. "He is an inspirational character who is very positive and aggressive at the same time. His nature has rubbed off on a lot of youngsters.

"But, the way he has batted, despite being under pressure of being one of the most important members in the side, has been phenomenal. He has had an impact on each and every outing."

Laxman feels what makes Warner great as a captain is that he listens to his bowlers and makes plans according to what the bowler is comfortable with, which in turn gives oodles of confidence to the man holding the white ball.

"I think he is a bowler's captain, giving freedom to bowlers, especially when things are not going your way, you need your captain to back you and that's what our bowlers got from their captain," Laxman added. "He is also not an experienced captain, but the way he has led the team has been sensational. I hope that he keeps on continuing that.

"He is a match-winner and a great person to lead us."

One of the other major reasons behind SRH's success in IPL 2016 was the bowling. Led by the Purple Cap winner Bhuvneshwar Kumar and the off-cutter machine Mustafizur Rahman, the SRH bowlers, time and again, made a par total, usually got to thanks to heroics from Warner, look like a match-winning one.

"We were very clear when we went into the auction that we wanted to have quality bowlers in our side," Laxman said. "Ashish Nehra was fantastic for us at the start of the tournament, but unfortunately we lost him because of injury. Yuvraj Singh came back from an injury, and both he and Nehra, have been leaders within the group.

"But, the way Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman have carried the burden of being the strike bowlers throughout the tournament has been incredible."

While Mustafizur's prowess with the ball was no surprise – he has been bamboozling batsman since making his debut – the way Bhuvneshwar took over the leadership of the attack was pleasing to see. Once Nehra was ruled out of the tournament, Bhuvneshwar took over the "OK, I am the lead bowler now, so I have to lead by example," mantle, and that too quite brilliantly, ending up with 23 wickets in the season, two more than his closest competition, Yuzvendra Chahal.

"In the T20 format we think that it is tough for bowlers to come and perform on flat wickets," Laxman observed. "But the way Bhuvi picked up wickets with the new ball, then came in the death overs and bowled those accurate yorkers, picked up wickets and restricted the flow of runs, was brilliant."