IPL 2018: Mumbai Indians face stern test against Sunrisers Hyderabad
The variety in Sunrisers Hyderabad’s bowling attack will pose a few tricky questions for Mumbai Indians, when the two teams square off in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad, on Thursday.cricket Updated: Apr 11, 2018 21:17 IST
Mumbai Indians (MI) are known to be slow-starters, but when they take on the formidable Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Thursday, the defending champions would know that they will soon have to get back to their best. (IPL 2018 FULL COVERAGE)
With their familiar foes Chennai Super Kings (CSK) back at the top of the points table followed by SRH, the Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians will know that competition in this year’s IPL has started to heat up and they cannot afford to lose time.
Mumbai lost to CSK by one wicket in their backyard in the IPL 2018 opener last Saturday, but they will have to soon put the disappointment behind as SRH present a different challenge, especially with the ball.
Having registered a comprehensive win in their opening match, confidence is high in the SRH camp who are still in the early days of Kane Williamson’s captaincy.
Sunrisers Hyderabad kicked off their campaign with a nine-wicket hammering of Rajasthan Royals (RR) two days ago, with one of the best bowling attack in their ranks, they have the quality to test any batting line-up.
With the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Afghanistan sensation Rashid Khan, Siddarth Kaul and Billy Stanlake and Shakib Al Hasan all showing their mettle, SRH will take the field as favourites for this clash.
The opening pair of Wriddhiman Saha and Shikhar Dhawan, followed by Kane Williamson at No 3 fills in the gap that was created by David Warner’s exit, but their middle-order is yet to be challenged which consists of Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan and Deepak Hooda, followed by Shakib.
However, SRH coach Tom Moody hinted that a few changes are likely for the game on Thursday. “We are looking at a couple of options, yes, but we are reluctant to make too many changes for obvious reasons,” Moody said.
MI look to bounce back
On the other hand, having lost the tournament opener to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) narrowly, Mumbai Indians will aim to attain momentum in this crucial clash, and start earning points.
Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma has expressed confidence on Jasprit Bumrah’s strong comeback after a disappointing first game, but all eyes will be on the young Mayank Markande who wrecked CSK’s batting line-up last Saturday with his stunning three-wicket spell.
Mumbai’s hopes are pinned on runs at the top from Rohit and explosive Caribbean batsman Evin Lewis, and quick runs towards the end from the Pandya brothers — Krunal and Hardik. Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav both showed form in the first game, and Mumbai will hope for consolidation from this pair in the middle order.
Hardik, who had twisted his ankle in the first innings, returned on the field to bowl against CSK and is expected to be available for the match on Thursday.
Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar share the new ball for India but on Thursday they are pitted against each other, set to bowl on the pitch at the Uppal stadium that looks full of runs.
Dhawan’s form at the top will be crucial for SRH, but his partner in the opposition camp, Rohit may have to face the threat of Rashid early on in the innings. The Mumbai Indians’ captain fell to a false stroke after getting a start, and he will be hungry to make amends.
First Published: Apr 11, 2018 19:13 IST