Hyderabad have 13 points from 12 matches and are fourth in the points table. One more win will likely take them through to the play-offs and due to their superb home record, they will be eager to bag two points at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Out of the six matches at home, the David Warner-led side has won five, while winning only once in away matches. Hence, before travelling to Kanpur to face Gujarat Lions, they will like to win at home.
But Hyderabad, who are coming off with two consecutive losses against Delhi Daredevils and Rising Pune Supergiant, need to raise their game against two-time champions Mumbai, who have won nine of their 11 matches so far.
Hyderabad failed to defend a total of 185 against Delhi away and then were unable to chase a target of 140 against Pune at home to suffer their maiden defeat at this stadium.
For Hyderabad, their middle and lower middle-order has been a cause of concern and they can't always depend on David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson to fire. Yuvraj Singh and Moises Henriques have been inconsistent, while wicket-keeper Naman Ojha is yet to make impact with his bat. Hyderabad need to correct this with key matches coming.
On the bowling front, the home side will rely on Purple Cap holder Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Afghanistan's teenaged leg-spinner Rashid Khan to deliver the goods again. The responsibility will also be on Ashish Nehra and Siddharth Kaul.
It will not be a bad idea if captain David Warner revisits the option of including spinning all-rounder Bipul Sharma as he hasn't looked confident in his late appearances.
They will be up against a side that has all bases covered — a simple reason for their success.
Mumbai on Saturday showed in their huge 146-run triumph over Delhi Daredevils that they will be ruthless in their push for the top two spots at the end of the league phase and the cushion that they offer. They posted 212/3 in 20 overs before bowling out Delhi for their lowest score of 66 in 13.2 overs.
Mumbai bowlers hunt as a team and the experience and variety they possess must be a captain's dream. While pacers Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah all have the calibre to do well at any phase of the innings, veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and young leg-spinner Karn Sharma are a near-perfect pair to choke runs as well as pick wickets. Pandya brothers, Hardik and Krunal, are also there to provide more depth in both batting and bowling.
Lendle Simmons, Kieran Pollard, Parthiv Patel, Rohit Sharma and this edition's revelation Nitish Rana have been in sizzling form and it will be a tough ask for Hyderabad to trouble this batting line-up.
First Published: May 8, 2017, 9:49 AM IST