Published On: Mon, Apr 23rd, 2018

Sunrisers seek turnaround at Wankhede without Bhuvneshwar

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Big Picture

Mumbai Indians are in an interesting position: they have only one win from five matches but they also have a positive net run rate that’s better than at least three other teams. That means they are primed to do what they do best: beat teams late in the competition and edge them out.

Mumbai, however, would be justified in believing that their position isn’t an accurate reflection of their performance. In each of their four defeats, they have taken the game to the last over, and their only win, against Royal Challengers Bangalore, was by a huge margin. The less-heralded players – Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Mayank Markande – have been Mumbai’s engine room so far. It’s their gun players – Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, and Hardik Pandya – who have not clicked as often as they would have liked.

Sunrisers Hyderabad cooled off after three successive wins, and now with Bhuvneshwar Kumar ruled out of the next match, and fitness concerns looming over both Shikhar Dhawan and Yusuf Pathan, recuperating from two successive losses won’t be easy. They are the best bowling side of the tournament, and their top order has been belligerent. But familiar woes in the middle order plague them. Manish Pandey, Yusuf and Deepak Hooda have shown no more than patches of form. An over-reliance on the top order is hurting their ability to finish strongly, as characterised by a run rate of 9.17 in the last five overs, which is sixth among the eight teams.

In the news

Bhuvneshwar Kumar did not travel with Sunrisers to Mumbai; ESPNcricinfo understands he has been rested and will be available for their next game. Sandeep Sharma will be a like-for-like replacement. Shikhar Dhawan, who had hurt his left elbow against Kings XI Punjab last week, stated on Twitter with a strapped elbow that it was not a fracture. He went to Wankhede on Monday evening for a hit in the nets and a fitness test, and a final call on him will be taken on Tuesday.

Yusuf struggled with cramps while batting on Sunday night and Williamson “wasn’t 100% sure” but hoped Yusuf would be fine by Tuesday evening.

The likely XIs

Mumbai Indians: 1 Suryakumar Yadav, 2 Evin Lewis, 3 Ishan Kishan (wk), 4 Rohit Sharma (capt), 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Krunal Pandya, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Mitchell McClenaghan, 9 Mayank Markande, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Mustafizur Rahman

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 1 Shikhar Dhawan/Ricky Bhui, 2 Kane Williamson (capt), 3 Manish Pandey, 4 Deepak Hooda, 5 Shakib Al Hasan/Alex Hales, 6 Yusuf Pathan/Bipul Sharma/Sachin Baby, 7 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Billy Stanlake, 10 Sandeep Sharma, 11 Siddarth Kaul

Strategy punt

In order to strengthen their batting, Sunrisers have an option of leaving out Billy Stanlake to bring in Alex Hales, especially if Dhawan does not recover in time. Hales could open in that case; with an average of 33.31 and a scoring rate of 8.60 in the Powerplays in T20s, Hales would be perfect for the job.

Stats that matter

  • Sunrisers have bossed Mumbai in recent times, winning four of their last five encounters. Four of those five fixtures have also been won by the team batting second.

  • Sunrisers, however, have never prevailed at the Wankhede, where they have lost on each of the three occasions they have played.

  • Yusuf Pathan is one run away from completing 3000 career IPL runs.

  • In T20s since 2015, Krunal Pandya has struck at 197.1 against legspin, and has lost his wicket only once in 10 innings. He has scord 138 runs off 70 balls during this period. Watch out, Rashid Khan.

  • Mumbai have lost 16 wickets in the slog overs this IPL – the joint-highest alongside Rajasthan Royals. And their run rate of 8.88 in this phase is only better than Kings XI Punjab’s.

  • Rashid has used the googly to varying success. While he goes at 5.60 per over against right-handers with this delivery and has picked up two wickets, against left-handers, the economy rate shoots up to 16.9.

Fantasy picks

Krunal Pandya has an excellent record at Wankhede. Among current Mumbai players to have bowled 10 overs or more at the venue, Krunal easily has the best economy rate: 6.30. That’s to go with a wicket every 15.9 deliveries, and 207 runs with the bat at a strike rate of 146.8.

Shakib, along with Bhuvneshwar, is Sunrisers’ most successful bowler at Wankhede, with six wickets. He also has an economy rate of 6.6 and could also fetch runs in the middle order.

Quotes

“That’s T20 cricket and from our perspective it’s really important not to be to reactive, certainly focus on our plans, go back to those and we know that when we’re achivening those plans and building towards those, that gives ourseleves the best chance to win games.”
Sunrisers captain Kane Williamson on their two losses in two games.

“I think we’ve been in this situation before and I think Mumbai Indians is known to bounce back. So, we won’t lose hope. We’re going to bounce back and we’ll play our best cricket in the matches to come.”
Mumbai Indians wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan on their poor start yet again.



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