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By S Janakiram
Hyderabad: May 11, 2014
Languishing at the bottom of the table, defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) face the uphill task of lifting themselves back in the reckoning when they take on a resurgent Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014.
Having won just two games out of eight they have played so far, the Mumbai side cannot afford to lose any more matches if it has to reach the semifinals.
However, it is easier said then done as the Sunrisers have an impressive track record on home ground after they made their entry into the IPL last year. The Hyderabad side is already among the top four having won four out of the eight matches it played so far.
Mumbai had comprehensive back-to-back victories against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on May 3 and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on May 6, but faltered in the game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Saturday as the southern side gained upper hand.
Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma and West Indian powerhouse Kieron Pollard have been successful in the current season and the good show of Ambati Rayudu, who made 59 runs in 43 balls in the match against Chennai yesterday, is reassuring for the side.
Mumbai Opener CM Gautam has pulled off a few surprises with his big hits but the other key players like Michael Hussey, Corey Anderson need to rise to the occasion to put their team on a firm footing.
Though the visiting team is handicapped by the absence of Zaheer Khan owing to an injury, it still boasts of seasoned bowlers like Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha and Praveen Kumar, who replaced Zaheer.
Sunrisers are fresh and buoyed by the victories against Delhi Daredevils in the rain-hit match in Delhi yesterday and the earlier game against Rajasthan Royals, though inconsistent batting appears to be a cause for concern to the team.
The crucial batsmen of Sunrisers, including Captain Shikhar Dhawan, David Warner, Darren Sammy and Aaron Finch, need to come up with some destructive knocks to put their side on top.
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