Mumbai, Sunrisers look to break early rut

Match facts

Monday, April 18, 2016
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)

Sunrisers Hyderabad will be in search of answers © BCCI

Big picture

It is early days yet, but both Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians find themselves in the wrong half of the IPL points table. Sunrisers have lost both matches till date, by sizeable margins, while Mumbai have lost two of their first three. The losers of Monday’s clash in Hyderabad could find themselves in the position of early season laggards.

The last time the two teams met in Hyderabad, for the final group match of the 2015 season, Mumbai walloped the hosts by nine wickets, with 37 balls to spare. The personnel on both sides is likely to be largely similar this time around. A similar result, though, would be a big blow to Sunrisers.

To turn things around, Sunrisers will need greater tactical shrewdness from their captain. David Warner’s bowling changes have been baffling at times, especially his decision to hold back Bangladesh left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman in key moments. Against Mumbai Indians’ big hitters, such tactical errors could be costly.

In the spotlight

Mustafizur has stood head and shoulders above the other bowlers in his side. In the face of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s onslaught, he was the only Sunrisers bowler to emerge with tidy figures. Against Kolkata Knight Riders, he produced the ball of the match – a swinging, dipping yorker that floored both Andre Russell and his middle stump. His excellent disguise and control of his cutters has been an ever-present threat. If he is unleashed early enough against Mumbai Indians, he could make a difference.

The name is Pandya. Krunal Pandya. Thus far, Krunal has been in the shadows of younger brother Hardik, but against Gujarat Lions he outshone his sibling with bat and ball. A lower-order cameo of 20 off 11 was followed by tidy figures of 1 for 20 in four overs. Krunal’s left-arm spin could be the perfect foil for Harbhajan Singh’s offspin. Like Hardik, Krunal is also a live wire in the field. That’s quite a handy all-round package.

Team news

With Eoin Morgan firing in the last match, Sunrisers are unlikely to change their combination.

Sunrisers Hyderabad (probable) 1 David Warner (capt), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Moises Henriques, 4 Eoin Morgan, 5 Deepak Hooda, 6 Naman Ojha (wk), 7 Ashish Reddy, 8 Karn Sharma, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Barinder Sran

Kieron Pollard has had a low-key start to the season, scoring exactly 1 run per match and not getting a bowl. There might be a temptation to replace him with Corey Anderson or Martin Guptill. If it is the latter, the batting order might need a re-jig, with one of the openers dropping down. Hardik Pandya might also drop down the order.

Mumbai Indians (probable) 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Parthiv Patel (wk), 3 Ambati Rayudu, 4 Jos Buttler, 5 Kieron Pollard/Corey Anderson/Martin Guptill, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Harbhajan Singh, 8 Krunal Pandya, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Mitchell McClenaghan, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Pitch and conditions

The previous match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium saw Knight Riders easily chase down a target of 143. Generally, this venue provides pitches with decent bounce and carry, with runs on offer. There is no rain forecast.

Stats and trivia

  • Warner and Morgan have scored 144 of Sunrisers’ 324 runs this season
  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar has an average of 14.44 and an economy rate of 5.41 against Mumbai Indians in the IPL
  • Mumbai have lost both their home matches and won their only away match so far this season

Sirish Raghavan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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