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By R Vishal
Apr 29, 2014
The 20th and the final match of the first leg of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will see two struggling teams, Mumbai Indians (MI) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) face off in what will be a clash of the much vaunted Indian openers — Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan — desperate to motivate their beleaguered sides in IPL 7.
Defending champions Mumbai find themselves at the bottom of the pile and are in a desperate need of a win to salvage some pride and get a move on in the tournament.. After their fourth straight loss against Delhi Daredevils (DD), Rohit and their star all-rounder Kieron Pollard admitted to be clueless about their wretched run of form.
It should be noted that no team has managed to come back to win the IPL after losing four games on the trot in the past. In this edition, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Delhi Daredevils also had scratchy starts, but have steadily picked up momentum over their last few games. With the side on an embarrassing slump, Mumbai could make changes to their playing XI and bring in Krishmar Santokie to bowl in tandem with Lasith Malinga.
The Indian contingent in the middle-order has been firing blanks. This is where Rohit needs to lead from the front and play a big knock which he is long overdue. The big money capture, Corey Anderson could make way for Santokie in this fixture as the New Zealander clearly has looked daunted by the overnight transformation of his fortunes.
Sunrisers Hyderabad, despite having one of the powerful top-order batsmen have misfired so far. Shikhar Dhawan has somewhat looked uncomfortable in leading a team. Dhawan’s own personal form needs some scrutinising and his woes with the short ball resurfaced in the last game against Chennai.
No team in IPL’s history has gone far in the tournament without having a quality spinner in their ranks. Amit Mishra has been lackluster and has leaked runs aplenty despite being in excellent form for India over the past two months. David Warner has been inconsistent, as he has performed in only one match so far. Despite the three losses in the tournament so far, Hyderabad should be licking their lips against a Mumbai outfit who have hit rock bottom. Mumbai will need to look at their prolific 2013 season, wherein they did nothing wrong. Maybe a pep talk by the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, who is their team icon, could untie the knots Mumbai are tangled in at the moment.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Aaditya Tare (wk), Michael Hussey, Sushant Marathe, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Corey Anderson, Ben Dunk, Josh Hazlewood, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Shreyas Gopal, Jalaj Saxena, CM Gautam (wk), Krishmar Santokie, Marchant de Lange, Jasprit Bumrah, Apoorv Wankhede, Pawan Suyal.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Dale Steyn, David Warner, Darren Sammy, Amit Mishra, Aaron Finch, Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Brendan Taylor, Moises Henriques, Venugopala Rao, Jason Holder, S Aniruddha, Manprit Juneja, KL Rahul, Amit Paunikar, Naman Ojha, Ricky Bhui, Ashish Reddy, Chama Milind, Parveez Rasool, Prashanth Parameshwaran, Karn Sharma.
Time: 20:00 IST | 14:30 GMT
(R Vishal is a journalist and alumni of the Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)
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