File image of SRH players(AFP)
File image of SRH players(AFP)

IPL 2019, SRH vs MI: Mumbai seek to step up against fluent Sunrisers Hyderabad

Mumbai Indians might be forced to make a change and bring in leg-spinner Mayank Markande, given the pitch here has favoured spinners
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad | By Bihan Sengupta
UPDATED ON APR 06, 2019 11:39 AM IST

A couple of seasons back, Kane Williamson had featured in only seven games for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL. Such was the form of the then opening pair of David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan, the New Zealand batsman had to sit out for the balance of the side. Last year, with Warner banned over the ball-tampering scandal, Williamson led the side and featured in 17 games en route to emerging the highest run-getter of the season. This year, he’s played just one game while Dhawan has moved to Delhi Capitals.

And yet, if there’s one thing that’s been consistent with the 2016 champions this season, it’s a strong show with the bat. And it’s down to Ashes rivals Warner and Jonny Bairstow, who have stitched three century stands in four matches so far. They have scored 509 runs — only 201 short of what the entire squad of Mumbai Indians, their opponents on Saturday night, have managed in their four games.

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It shows the task Rohit Sharma and Co has in hand. They might be forced to make a change and bring in leg-spinner Mayank Markande, given the pitch here has favoured spinners. The visitors should be high on confidence after dismantling Chennai Super Kings in their last game, but they will be conscious that they’re yet to play to potential.

The Mumbai batting line-up has been shaky. Although Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock have shared two 50-plus stands, they haven’t really been able to lay the platform for teammates to come and go after the bowling. Yuvraj Singh in the middle-order too has failed to click since scoring a half-century against Delhi Capitals in the first game.

Seasoned Mumbai batsman, Suryakumar Yadav, wasn’t willing to go deep into the issue on the match eve. “I feel they (top-order batsmen) are doing it really well. I mean we haven’t got starts but they are batting really well and as a team we have discussed it. It’s just a matter of one game,” he told reporters.

Mumbai Indians will hope that game is on Saturday itself given the opposition’s bowling prowess. If Sunrisers’ Afghan off-spinner Mohammad Nabi has emerged the tormentor-in-chief, picking crucial scalps, compatriot Rashid Khan has shackled the opposition, bowling 43 dot balls — nearly half his 16 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, too, managed to make a comeback of sorts with figures of 2/27 in the win over Delhi Capitals.

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