Preview: In what will be a crucial encounter for both the teams, Sunrisers Hyderabad will be without their batting mainstay David Warner when they square off against a formidable Mumbai Indians side at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday (May 2).
The match is important for both sides as a win will bolster their playoff chances while a defeat would bring them one step closer to the exit door. While Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings have already booked their place in the playoffs, the other two spots are still up for grab.
Mumbai, who are currently third with 14 points to their name, will progress further if they win this match. Meanwhile, Hyderabad are in the fourth spot with 12 points and a win here will make life easier, courtesy a superior Net Run Rate of +0.709.
However, it's not going to be easy for Hyderabad to get the better of Mumbai in their own backyard without the tournament's leading run-scorer Warner. The left-handed opener contributed in almost every game including in his last encounter against Kings XI Punjab before flying to Australia for World Cup preparation.
The void left by his departure would be felt and in his absence, captain Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha, and Martin Guptill who will most probably replace him will have to shoulder the responsibility. Meanwhile, their bowlers have done well in patches but will have to be at their very best against Mumbai's fiery batting lineup.
Mumbai have been well-served by Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma, but it's the dynamic duo of Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard that have made the real difference. Hardik in particular has been brilliant down the order and was constantly playing those blistering cameos before he finally got the chance to come out to bat early against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Chasing 233, Mumbai were reduced to 58 for 4 when Hardik walked out to bat. The all-rounder then slammed 91 off just 34 deliveries to almost pull off a heist, but found no support from the other end. It won't be a bad idea to send him early on a surface that will be suitable for batting.
The home side will miss left-arm Australian pacer Jason Behrendroff, who has also headed home to join the World Cup camp. Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga and Rahul Chahar will have to play a key role if Mumbai want to restrict Hyderabad to a below-par total.
Hyderabad were blown away by Alzarri Joseph in their own backyard. The West Indies paceman scalped 6 for 12 in his debut match and registered the best bowling figures in the history of the tournament. Chasing 137, Hyderabad were bundled out for just 96.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Hardik Pandya: The flamboyant all-rounder has been in some form this season. Hardik has lit up the stadium almost every time he has come out to bat. Having scored 91 in his last match, the 25-year-old will be high on confidence and the onus will be on Mumbai to make sure that they use him properly. He has also done a decent job with the ball in hand and all of this will only in work in India's favour in the upcoming World Cup.
Kane Williamson: The Hyderabad skipper has struggled to get going this season with just 55 runs to his name in six encounters. With Warner and Jonny Bairstow gone, Williamson will have to bring his A-game against Mumbai. Hyderabad's middle-order hasn't been among runs and if they want to challenge Mumbai, Williamson will have to shoulder a lot of responsibilities as he did in the last season.
Mumbai: Evin Lewis hasn't looked in good touch and it won't be a bad idea to include someone like Ishan Kishan at the top. This will also allow them to play an extra foreign pacer.
Hyderabad: Guptill will come in for Warner and apart from that, Hyderabad wouldn't like to tinker too much with the winning combination.
Mumbai: Rohit Sharma (capt), Quinton de Kock (wk), Evin Lewis/Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Barinder Sran/Beuran Hendricks.
Hyderabad: Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson (capt), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, K Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma.
First Published: May 2, 2019, 7:27 AM IST