SRH and Mumbai have had quite contrasting fortunes in the IPL so far. The former decimated Rajasthan in their opening match by 9 wickets. Mumbai put in a spirited performance against CSK, having all but won it but Bravo snatched a victory for Chennai.
Both these teams are two of the best in the tournament, and the game promises to be a cracker. Can SRH get 2 in 2, or will Mumbai bounce back and get their first victory of the season?
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shikhar Dhawan, Shakib Al Hasan, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha, Rashid Khan, Ricky Bhui, Deepak Hooda, Siddarth Kaul, T Natarajan, Mohammad Nabi, Basil Thampi, K Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan, Billy Stanlake, Tanmay Agarwal, Shreevats Goswami, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Alex Hales.
Rohit Sharma (c), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mustafizur Rahman, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar, Evin Lewis, Saurabh Tiwary, Ben Cutting, Pradeep Sangwan, Jean-Paul Duminy, Tajinder Singh, Sharad Lumba, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Mayank Markande, Akila Dananjaya, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan, MD Nidheesh, Mitchell McClenaghan.
Where the teams stand
Shikhar Dhawan has been in fantastic form of late. He had a very successful tour of South Africa, and he has begun his IPL campaign with an imperious 77. Kane Williamson chipped in with a handy 36 from 35 as well, but the rest of the batting order is yet to be tested. Against a well-balanced Mumbai attack, the SRH batsmen will have their task cut out for them. Fortunately, they pack some serious firepower in their ranks. And this is after losing Warner. They have a good balance of batsmen who can anchor the innings, accelerate the scoring rate, or do both when required. SRH are one of the few teams that possess genuine quality Indian batsmen perfectly suited to the T20 format instead of relying on foreign imports to get them the runs. Besides Shakib and Williamson, its an all Indian batting lineup. Having the cream of the Indian players is always a huge boon over having the cream of the foreigners, and it will make SRH doubly dangerous as the tournament progresses.
Besides the batting, SRH’s bowling is also top-class. They have premier Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, along with a host of others. Billy Stanlake is an exciting prospect, and he proved so in the last match. He scalped Ben Stokes while maintaining an economy of just 7.25. Shakib and Rashid are two of the best spinners one could ask for. The latter’s pace combined with some turn has proved to be deadly for several batsmen over the years, whereas the former is one of the best all-rounders in the world. Lastly, they have Siddarth Kaul, who was their best bowler in the last match with an economy of just 4.25 and two wickets to his name. This is going to be quite a challenge for Mumbai.
Fantasy Picks: Amongst the batsmen, given that only three of them have batted, Shikhar Dhawan and Williamson are the only worthy picks. Watch out for Bhuvi and Stanlake as well.
Mumbai have an explosive opening pair in Evin Lewis and Rohit Sharma. Their batting also heavily comprises of Indian batsmen except for Lewis and Pollard. The opening pair will need to shoulder the responsibility of scoring a hefty percentage of runs given their slightly shaky middle order. Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav are both talented young batsmen coming in at 3 and 4, but their ability to be consistent is still suspect. The Pandya brothers follow them. While they are certainly more dependable than the previous pair, Hardik’s questionable form might be a little worrying for the Indians. Early days in the tournament mean that it is still difficult to predict how batsmen will perform, but based on initial impressions, much depends on the opening pair.
Despite the batting concerns, Mumbai has a solid bowling attack that is shaping up to be even better than SRH’s. With McClenaghan, the Fizz, Hardik Pandya, and Bumrah, it does not get much better than this. McClenaghan can be expensive at times, but he has a knack for producing wickets regardless of his economy. The Fizz has not been the most consistent in recent times, for club or countries. However, when he hits his stride, his deliveries can be unplayable for even the best. Bumrah has established himself as a death-bowling specialist, despite his 20 run 19th over last time. He will be a lethal threat for SRH. The bowling evens out the competition given the differences in batting prowess, giving us a treat to look forward to. Mumbai have a bad habit of starting their campaigns with a few losses before winning several on the trot, but their fans will be hoping things are different this time.
Fantasy Picks: Krunal Pandya was hitting the ball cleanly against Chennai. He will definitely be one to look out for. Lewis is another batsman who can set the stage on fire as he has so many times for the Windies. Bumrah is perhaps the safest pick amongst the bowlers for his usually unwavering consistency.
Mumbai win. An untested batting lineup and a marginally inferior bowling attack give Mumbai the smallest advantage.
Who will come out on top in this titanic Indian Premier League clash? Let us know in the comments and poll below.