On rollercoaster ride, SRH meet MI in must-win game
Their play-off chances hanging by a thread, Sunrisers Hyderabad will need to snap their five-match losing streak when they take on an already eliminated Mumbai Indians in the IPL here on Tuesday.
It has been a rollercoaster ride for SRH who won five games in a row before losing the next five.
SRH, if they win their two remaining games including the one against MI, will jump to 14 points and then be left hoping that the other results go their way to have an outside chance of making the play-offs.
But a loss against Mumbai at the Wankhede stadium will surely eliminate them, as there are already seven teams now with 12 or more points.
Hyderabad will need to put up a much improved show with the bat. Skipper Williamson is enduring a wretched run in this season and the Kiwi has collected just 208 runs from 12 games at an average of 18.92. He needs to find his mojo.
Head coach Tom Moody defended the move to open with an out-of-form Williamson and the New Zealander will need to prove his coach right.
His opening partner Abhishek Sharma, who chipped in with a 43 in the last game, needs to convert the starts to big scores. But the duo would have their task cut out against a formidable Mumbai attack on a track that helps pacers.
SRH have the necessary fire-power in the middle-order with the likes of Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram and swashbuckling Nicholos Pooran, but consistency has been an issue.
Their middle-order crumbled in their last game against Kolkata Knight Riders, which they lost by 54 runs, and hence the three would need to fire in unison.
Equally crucial is the role of Washington Sundar and Shashank Singh as finishers.
The formidable Sunrisers pace attack includes Umran Malik, who has been a revelation, while the others like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Marco Jansen, who can trouble Rohit with the delivery that comes in, and yorker specialist T Natarajan have fared well.
The MI batters will need to be wary of Malik, who is improving after every game and already has 18 wickets.
MI will take confidence from their five-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings, whom they bundled out for 97 and probably look to dent SRH's chances.
But for Mumbai, the form of skipper Rohit Sharma and IPL's costliest buy Ishan Kishan are huge concerns. The duo needs to provide an aggressive start, especially in the absence of Suryakumar Yadav.
Tilak Varma, who has been one of the finds of the season, once again needs to shoulder responsibility in the middle-order, which lacks experience. And it wouldn't be easy for the likes of Daniel Sams, Tim David, Tristan Stubbs and Ramandeep Singh to counter the varied SRH attack.
As far as the MI bowling is concerned, pacer Sams is right on the money and can wreak havoc at the start. The ever-reliable Jasprit Bumrah and Riley Meredith have also played their parts while rookie spinner Kumar Kartikeya Singh has been providing necessary breakthroughs in the middle overs.
Teams (from): Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Anmolpreet Singh, Rahul Buddhi, Ramandeep Singh, Tilak Verma, Tim David, Arjun Tendulkar, Basil Thampi, Hrithik Shokeen, Jasprit Bumrah, Jaydev Unadkat, Jofra Archer, Mayank Markande, Murugan Ashwin, Riley Meredith, Tymal Mills, Arshad Khan, Daniel Sams, Dewald Brevis, Fabian Allen, Kieron Pollard, Sanjay Yadav, Aryan Juyal and Ishan Kishan.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson, Abhishek Sharma, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram, Nicholos Pooran, Abdul Samad, Priyam Garg, Vishnu Vinod, Glenn Phillips, R Samarth, Shashank Singh, Washington Sundar, Romario Shepherd, Marco Jansen, J Suchith, Shreyas Gopal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sean Abbott, Kartik Tyagi, Saurabh Tiwary, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Umran Malik, T Natarajan.
Match at 7.