Mumbai Indians visit top-of-the-table Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad in Sunday’s second match.
The Sunrisers have been in top form this season, with a close-run defeat against KKR in their opening game their only blip in a free-scoring season which has seen them win the three subsequent games on the trot. Mumbai, meanwhile, have blown hot and cold, with 2 victories and defeats apiece. However, beating the Chennai Super Kings in their last encounter will give them momentum coming into the game as they face the mighty men in orange.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) April 6, 2019
Sunrisers have been firing on all cylinders, especially at the top of the order. Jonny Bairstow and David Warner have been in scintillating form match after match, with an average opening stand of nearly 120 runs this season, and both sit pretty at the top of the Orange Cap standings. But the worries do not end there for Mumbai. Such has been the strength of the Hyderabad team that Kane Williamson has been given a lengthy rest in his recovery from injury, with the Afghan allrounders Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan filling the remaining of the foreign quota. Add to the mix the pace trio of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddharth Kaul, and Sandeep Sharma, and the completeness of the team is evident and a middle order boasting of the likes of Vijay Shankar and Manish Pandey, and the completeness of the team is evident.
Mumbai meanwhile have been erratic in their execution in the 4 games they have played, but there is no doubting the talent in the squad. The likes of Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, and Yuvraj Singh have all looked in good nick in different games, but have not shown real consistency. The Pandya brothers, would, of course, be key with their big hitting and useful bowling, as would be Kieron Pollard. The bowling though has been on the expensive side, with the exception of Jasprit Bumrah, who has been excellent as usual. The inclusion of Jason Behrendorff from the last game have provided the Indians a big boost.
Here are the key battles in the game to watch out for:
Jonny Bairstow vs Jasprit Bumrah
Well, truth be told, either of Bairstow or Warner could have been included here. But, considering the recent marauding form, we have gone ahead with the Englishman, who has usually taken the onus to be the aggressor at the top. Bairstow has 246 runs in his 4 games, at an imperious strike rate of 167.34. The Sunrisers opening stand has been impermeable till now, and Mumbai would be depending on their best bowler to get an early dismissal. Bumrah, as usual, has been incredibly economical at 7.02 but would look to add to his 4 wickets this season to give Mumbai a chance.
Also Read: Fantasy Guide for this match
Rohit Sharma vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar
The battle of the captains. Rohit Sharma has not really fired this IPL, with the exception of a 48 scored against Bangalore. He, however, is key to the Mumbai innings. Mumbai need to get a good opening partnership going a la their opponents today. Thus, it is essential for Rohit to stitch together a partnership with Quinton de Kock at the top. Facing him would be his counterpart Bhuvi, who has not been in the best of form. The right-armer has picked just 2 wickets at an economy of 9.60 and would look to change all that and strike early into the Mumbai innings.
Hardik Pandya vs Rashid Khan
The two enigmatic all-rounders, Hardik Pandya, and Rashid Khan can be called the trump cards of the respective teams. Hardik has been incredibly vital at the final overs of the Mumbai innings, with quickfire knocks to push his team’s overall to more respectable numbers. With a strike rate of 204.65, it is essential to keep him quiet if the Sunrisers do not wish to leak 20-30 runs too many at the death. And that responsibility shall fall on Afghan talisman Rashid, whose economy of 5.81 this season shows exactly how quiet he can keep opposing batsmen. He has been the calling card at the death and will look to outfox and dismiss Hardik to make it advantage Hyderabad.