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Dubai: Apr 29, 2014
Languishing at the bottom of the table, defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) will be desperate to end their winless streak in their final match of the first leg of Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE when they lock horns with another struggling outfit, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
This is Mumbai Indians’ last chance to redeem themselves in the seventh edition of the cash-rich event before the action shifts to India. Placed last in the eight-team league after losing all four of their matches so far, the title holders will not get a better chance of opening their account than taking on a lowly Sunrisers, who are just a shade better with only a win and three losses.
Mumbai batting has come a cropper till now. Despite some big names in their ranks, they have managed just a few fine knocks among them. The likes of skipper Rohit Sharma, Mike Hussey, Corey Anderson and Kieron Pollard have failed to fire in unison.
Ambati Rayadu has shown glimpses of his talent, but none were match-winning efforts. Come tomorrow, Mumbai will need all these hard-hitting batsmen to contribute if they want to end their drought in the desert.
As far as the bowling is concerned, Indian veterans — Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh — will need to bring in all their experience to effect a turnaround. Although mercurial speedster Lasith Malinga has been both economical as well as amongst wickets, he has fallen short of his ability to run through any batting line-up.
Mumbai will require their bowling spearhead to rise to the occasion. Besides, the team will also expect Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan’s spin partner, Anderson and Pollard to fire as an unit.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have seen just two batsmen, Aaron Finch and David Warner, making a mark so far in the tournament. While the team will bank heavily on Finch and Warner yet again, it is high time that skipper and opener Shikhar Dhawan demonstrate his batting prowess.
The middle-order, with the likes of Lokesh Rahul, Y Venugopal Rao and Darren Sammy, also need to play key roles.Their bowlers haven’t done too badly till now. Bowling spearhead Dale Steyn and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been pretty consistent, while leg-spinners Amit Mishra and Karn Sharma have also been decent.
But the bowlers would need their batsmen to put up substantial runs on the board, so that they have something to defend against one of the better batting line-ups in the IPL.
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