After winning their first three matches and looking unstoppable, SRH have lost both their previous two games at the hands of the now number 1 and 2 team on the table. Mumbai have won just one of their five games, beginning yet another campaign slowly. Every season they pivot at around this stage of the tournament, and Mumbai desperately needs to up their game very soon.
Hyderabad is facing injuries to some of their key players while Mumbai’s last match exploited their biggest flaw. Can these teams overcome their weaknesses before they clash on Tuesday?
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, Adam Milne.
Where the teams stand
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been ruled out for the match against Mumbai with a back injury. Williamson was hopeful of Dhawan returning after his own injury, but if both these players miss the game, it could be curtains for SRH already. The last two matches have shown that it takes only one bowler conceding over 10 to ruin the performance for the entire attack. Rashid Khan has been the man on the receiving end, and his team will be hoping he can bounce back especially after news of Kumar. Dhawan was instrumental in their first two games, but he leaves a huge gap at the top which Ricky Bhui simply cannot fill. Dhawan’s absence means SRH need an additional foreign player at the top to fill his boots. Stanlake/Jordan are the most expendable foreigners in the playing eleven, further weakening the bowling attack. Sandeep Sharma was brilliant in the one game he played earlier this season, so filling for Bhuvi should not be an issue. However, replacing Dhawan will call for some tinkering. Carlos Brathwaite would be the ideal replacement considering his all-rounder status, but his unreliability with both and ball make him too much of a gamble.
It will be interesting to see if Williamson goes ahead with Bhui or brings in Alex Hales. He will be under pressure to produce results after two back-to-back losses. The bowling attack, bar Rashid Khan, still looks solid considering how well Sandeep performed against Mumbai last time. However, the batting has looked very shaky besides Williamson. He has scored three half-centuries so far in five games, including another 30+ score. Yusuf Pathan has been in good touch, and him playing at four is perhaps the best position for him and the team. Pandey and Shakib have so far failed to justify the reputations they carry, while Hooda has also been wildly inconsistent. It is a good change to see a team that not too long ago seemed unbeatable now on their knees with problems. It speaks volumes of the dynamism of the IPL and the transience of fortune in cricket.
Fantasy Picks: Williamson has exemplified consistency this season. Stanlake and Kaul have also been on the mark this season. Anyone else in the batting or bowling is a gamble, but Yusuf Pathan has looked the most promising with the bat, while Shakib is perhaps the other safest bet beside the aforementioned names.
Mumbai’s top-heaviness in their batting lineup was exposed brilliantly against Rajasthan. With Lewis gone on his first ball, Surya and Kishan rebuilt the innings with great skill, ensuring they scored around 130 in 14 overs after being 1-1. However, as soon as they and Rohit got out, the rest of the order struggled to score once again. Pollard contributed with a 21 from 20, but he was the only batsman besides the top three to cross 10. This instability in the lower middle order is a huge concern, especially given how good the SRH attack is and was against Mumbai the last time they met. The Pandya brothers and Pollard need to be doing more to ensure success for their team, and they are all due a big knock for a while now.
The MI attack has perhaps been the most hardworking of all this season. They almost defended some very low totals on multiple occasions, always refusing to give up. Their bowling has mostly been effective, maintaining low economies and getting wickets regularly. It is the batsmen who have been letting them down so far this season. This should be a good contest between two well-performing bowling attacks and two batting lineups struggling with their middle orders. SRH got the better of Mumbai last time, but can they do it again?
Fantasy Picks: The batting top four are must-haves in any team. Bumrah, Mustafizur, and Markande are also great picks with the ball, in that order. McClenaghan is generally very leaky, while the Pandya brothers are also a gamble.
Mumbai win. Mumbai’s bowling and their versatility give them a slight edge.
Who claims a much-needed win, the Mumbai Indians or Sunrisers Hyderabad? Let us know in the comments and poll below.