About the Match
Known to start sluggishly in IPL, Mumbai Indians rocked Kolkata Knight Riders to jump right into the contention. They will now face table toppers and defending champions, Sunrisers Hyderabad, at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on 12 April. Sunrisers Hyderabad is cruising through the league stage with two wins out two. Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, did extremely well in the last match to stay in the middle of the table. Getting the combination right will be the key for Mumbai Indians on Wankhede track which is known to suit batting. IPL has been all about hitting big sixes thus far and we expect nothing different in Mumbai.
One cannot forget the World T20 semifinal clash at this ground, especially if you are Indian fan. West Indies chased down a huge total set by Indians and this ground has witnessed many happy chases after that. Due to its close vicinity to the sea and moisture in the air, balls does not really grip in the evening games. Spinners do not generally extract much turn from the surface at this venue. With conditions so much in favor of batting, both the captains will want to win the toss and field first.
Mumbai Indians has a history to doing well after getting their first game in an IPL season. However, this year, their first win has come pretty early as compared to last few years. The hosts would like to convert this win to a multi-win streak. Mumbai's biggest cause of concern is that their stalwarts are yet to fire in the tournament. Jos Buttler and Rohit Sharma have been the victims of poor umpiring decisions and will like to shrug it off and try to hit it big in the next game.
The good thing in their previous victory was that they achieved it all through the domestic talent pool. Nitish Rana played beautifully for his half-century and Hardik Pandya sealed the game with a swashbuckling cameo. Jos Buttler has looked good in both the games but has failed to convert the start into a big one. With Pandya coming late in the order and players like Pollard and Krunal available in the middle, Mumbai batting lineup looks good.
Bowling has always been their forte with death-overs specialists like Malinga, Bumrah, and McCleneghan available at their disposal. Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, and Harbhajan Singh all are pretty decent with the ball and can wreck havoc on any batting side on their day.
Mumbai Indians take the time to get their combination right. However, a win in their previous game would cushion them with some assurance which may help them take their game to the next level.
Likely Starting XI:
Parthiv Patel - Jos Buttler - Rohit Sharma (c) - Nitish Rana (wk) - Krunal Pandya - Kieron Pollard - Hardik Pandya - Harbhajan Singh - Lasith Malinga - Mitchel McCleneghan - Jasprit Bumrah
Ever since last year's final, this side hasn't put a foot wrong in the field. Hyderabad has bowled brilliantly, has batted with force and fielded with purpose. In this season, it has won two games, both by huge margins. Rashid Khan has been a sensation and held the purple cap till Imran Tahir snapped it from him in Delhi - Pune match.
In the two matches concluded so far, all the batsmen have got runs. Warner is in the superb form which was evident from his immaculate strokeplay. Yuvraj Singh showed glimpses of his vintage past as he unleashed himself on RCB's bowling. Moises Henriques has got two fifties in two games and hasn't looked rusty against any sort of bowling. The batting was a point to ponder for it in the last season, but with Yuvraj back in terrific touch, this side looks like an excellent batting unit.
One wouldn't complain of its bowling when they have the likes of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, and Rashid Khan. Its bowlers guided them to the title and they've already started to hit the right notes this year. Rashid Khan's googlies have been difficult to pick which resulted in the downfall of RCB and Gujarat Lions.
With wins against two of the most solid teams in the competition, RCB and Gujarat Lions, Sunrisers Hyderabad is looking to be the side to beat this year.
Likely Starting XI:
David Warner (c) - Shikhar Dhawan - Moises Henriques - Yuvraj Singh - Ben Cutting - Deepak Hooda - Naman Ojha - Rashid Khan - Bhuvaneshwar Kumar - Bipul Sharma - Ashish Nehra.
The Numbers Game
- If they play in tomorrow's game, it will be 100th IPL game for both Rohit Sharma and Lasith Malinga.
- All of last five matches at this venue have been won by team batting second.
Sunrisers are unbeaten since last year's playoff as Mumbai challenge awaits them. Mumbai Indians is come off a victory which looked pretty unlikely at one stage which would have instilled belief in the squad. Considering the fact that their top-order failed yet again in the previous match, we might well see some tinkering with the team combination of Mumbai Indians. Sunrisers Hyderabad, on the other hand, won't be too keen to change the winning combination. Keeping past statistics, recent form and team on paper, Sunrisers go in as favorites in this match