© AFP
© AFP

The unpredictable Mumbai Indians (MI) take on the confident Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Match 37 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 at Visakhapatnam. There is a mid-table battle going on at present in IPL 9 and both SRH and MI are at the crux of it. MI have played one match more than SRH but both teams have an equal number of points. However, SRH have the better Net Run Rate (NRR) which means they are higher in the points table than MI. The other team with 10 points, Delhi Daredevils (DD) are ahead on NRR. Live Cricket Scorecard: Mumbai Indians vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2016 Match 37 at Visakhapatnam

MI have been rather inconsistent so far in IPL 9. They have had good days and bad days in more or less equal measure, which is usually not the case with them. Over the last few seasons, MI have usually started off with a string of losses before finding their groove and then dominating. This year they have not managed to find their momentum. This may play a part in the qualification for the final four.

On the other hand, SRH have made up for their lack of batting firepower by once again being the best bowling attack of the tournament; this despite a number of their bowlers being left-arm seamers. SRH’s inability to produce good spinners was exposed early, but since they have decided to stick to an all-pace attack they have improved steadily.

MI continue to rely heavily on Rohit Sharma at the top of the order, but he has got support from the middle order as well. Ambati Rayudu has been a revelation at No. 3 while the likes of Kieron Pollard, Jos Buttler, Krunal Pandya, and Parthiv Patel have played valuable innings on various occasions as well. However, MI’s strength is their bowling attack where Mitchell McClenaghan and Tim Southee lead the way. Harbhajan Singh has been steady but not threatening, while Hardik Pandya and Krunal have done their jobs also. With a huge bench full of exciting cricketers, MI look like a settled unit even without their momentum.

Meanwhile, SRH have done better than most would have thought at the start of the tournament. With Shikhar Dhawan out of form and Yuvraj Singh injured, the SRH batting looked rather feeble. However, skipper David Warner held the team on his broad shoulders and ended up powering them to a slew of victories. Since Dhawan found his form, SRH look a considerably better team.

With Yuvraj coming back after his injury SRH now have the depth in batting they lacked earlier in the tournament. Kane Williamson, Eoin Morgan, Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda, and Naman Ojha have chipped in as well, but not with the same consistency. The SRH bowling always looked good, and despite the occasional off day they have continued to do well.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ashish Nehra have been outstanding, and they have been backed up well by Henriques and Barinder Sran, but the truly standout bowler for SRH has been Mustafizur Rahman. The young Bangaldeshi left-armer has been arguably the best bowler of the tournament, not in terms of wickets taken but in terms of impact. The more Mustafizur bowls the more dangerous he looks.

The match between MI and SRH is likely to be an explosive one. If the SRH bowling can take out Rohit early the match will be wide open. Likewise if Southee or McClenaghan can get past Warner SRH’s chances will diminish. A cracking contest in on the cards at Vizag.

Squads:

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (c), Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra, Eoin Morgan, Moises Henriques, Shikhar Dhawan, Naman Ojha (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Karn Sharma, Abhimanyu Mithun, Tirumalsetti Suman, Bipul Sharma, Ashish Reddy, Aditya Tare, Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Ben Cutting, Vijay Shankar, Barinder Sran, Ricky Bhui, Deepak Hooda, Mustafizur Rahman.

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Parthiv Patel (wk), Harbhajan Singh, Martin Guptill, Kieron Pollard, Tim Southee, Vinay Kumar, Jos Buttler, Ambati Rayudu, Mitchell McClenaghan, Unmukt Chand, Marchant de Lange, Akshay Wakhare, Corey Anderson, Nitish Rana, Siddhesh Lad, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Shreyas Gopal, Jitesh Sharma, Deepak Punia, Suchith, Kishore Kamath, Nathu Singh, Krunal Pandya.

Time: 20:00 IST | 14:30 GMT

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is an animal lover and comic, film and TV geek. A fast bowler at heart, he loves watching a good, low-scoring game of cricket. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)