The Mumbai Indians will look to seal a playoff berth when they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in Match 51 of VIVO IPL 2019.
MI are currently third in the eight-team table with seven wins from 12 matches; one more win will propel them to second and assure them of a passage to the playoffs. SRH are currently fourth in the table with 12 points from as many matches; a win against MI will almost seal a playoff berth for them too – courtesy their net run rate which is the best among the contenders.
The team that ends up losing this contest will have to wait until the final day of the league stage to determine if they make the cut.
MI have had a three-day break since being blown away by Andre Russell and Kolkata Knight Riders in Kolkata; despite Hardik Pandya’s late innings heroics, MI were never really in the contest, and lost that match by 37 runs. Rohit Sharma and the backroom staff have had time to ponder over their combination; among things they would have deliberated upon are better utilisation of the fourth overseas player (Evin Lewis has been sent in at number three in the last couple of matches) and the choice of the fifth specialist bowler (Barinder Sran was used in the previous match).
David Warner, has parted ways with the Sunrisers, leaving the team management huge boots to fill. Warner was the Sunrisers’ top-scorer in five of their twelve matches and left the tournament with the Orange Cap. He was prolific individually – contributing 37% of the team’s runs, and formed a destructive opening pair with Jonny Bairstow. In the absence of both their prolific openers, the SRH middle-order need to put their hand up and give a good account of themselves. It is expected that Martin Guptill will take Warner’s spot at the top, while skipper Kane Williamson will hold fort in the middle order.
2 May 2019, 8pm IST
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Previous Match XIs:
Mumbai Indians: Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma, Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Barinder Sran, Rahul Chahar, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Wriddhiman Saha, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Kane Williamson, Rashid Khan, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma.
Despite scoring in excess of 300 runs this season, neither of MI’s openers – Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock – have quite hit their straps. Rohit has only one half-century this season, while de Kock hasn’t quite carried on despite getting starts almost every time he has walked out to bat. Both players will know now is the time to up their game to a higher level. Consistency isn’t a characteristic one would normally associate with finishers; yet this season, Hardik Pandya has consistently destroyed bowling attacks. What has been impressive about Hardik’s batting is how he is able to stay still at the crease and how cleanly he is able to strike the ball repeatedly.
For the Sunrisers, Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson and Vijay Shankar will be expected to shoulder the burden of scoring the runs. Manish has been excellent since returning to the team; after managing only 54 runs in first five innings this season – which resulted in him getting dropped, he has made scores of 83 not out, 61 and 36 since being recalled to the side. Manish has a history of performing when the stakes are high – in knockout-like situations; the Sunrisers need him to get a big one here and going forward.
Among the bowlers, it will be interesting to see how Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga – who conceded 44 and 48 respectively in their four overs – bounce back from the mauling they received against KKR. How much damage Sunrisers’ Rashid Khan – who has an incredible record against MI, and Mohammad Nabi are able to cause in their eight overs will have a huge impact on the match.
Head to Head in Indian Premier League
Overall: Matches – 13, Mumbai Indians – 6, Sunrisers Hyderabad – 7.
Since 2016: Matches – 7, Mumbai Indians – 2, Sunrisers Hyderabad – 5.
Last League-stage Fixture:
For Mumbai Indians: 5 May - v Kolkata Knight Riders in Mumbai.
For Sunrisers Hyderabad: 4 May – v Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bengaluru.