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By Bharath Ramaraj
May 11, 2014
In game No 36 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will take on Mumbai Indians (MI) at Hyderabad. Hyderabad will be a confident unit after winning their last two games of IPL 7. They beat the form team, Rajasthan Royals, by a margin of 32 runs, and then defeated Delhi Daredevils on their home turf by eight wickets via Duckworth Lewis (D/L) method.
On the other hand, Mumbai’s chances of defending the IPL crown that they won last year is slipping away rather quickly. In their last game, they lost to their formidable foes, Chennai Super Kings on their own patch. Mumbai are a team, who are very strong, while playing in their own backyard. But up against Chennai, they couldn’t win the match. It was incidentally their first loss to Chennai at Mumbai.
On paper, Hyderabad have a strong bowling line-up. They have the required variety to restrict any opposition line-up to a modest score on the board. The likes of Dale Steyn, Amit Mishra and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been in fine fettle in IPL 2014. If Steyn is the spearhead of the attack, then Mishra can take wickets in the middle overs with his box of tricks. B Kumar has bowled with fine control in the tournament. They also have Irfan Pathan, who brings more variety into the attack, as he is a left-arm medium pacer.
Hyderabad’s batting though, is top heavy, as they tend to depend on Aaron Finch, Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner to put the runs on the board or chase down targets. The likes of Naman Ojha, KL Rahul, Moises Henriques and Pathan can do well with the bat in hand. But opposition teams will look at that line-up and believe that they have a chance if they can get through the top-order rather quickly.
Mumbai’s batting has only fired in fits and starts. Skipper, Rohit Sharma looked in fine touch against Royal Challengers Bangalore. But other than that knock, he hasn’t been able to lead his team from the front. All-rounder, Kieron Pollard has made his presence felt in IPL 7, but they need more runs from their top-order batsmen. Lendl Simmons, the West Indian top-order batsmen looked in decent touch in their last game against Chennai, and that should provide them with some hope. Their bowling tends to depend on their reliable performer, Lasith Malinga. Harbhajan Singh, the veteran off-spinner has been in fine form in IPL 2014, and that is a good sign for them.
Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad can help spinners and Hyderabad have two leg-spinners to take advantage of it. Actually, if we look at both teams, Hyderabad at home have a slight edge. But in Twenty20s (T20s), it is very difficult to predict. It all comes down to who plays better on the day.
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.
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.
Time: 20.00 IST | 2.30 GMT
(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)
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