Match Date: April 12
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad
Many assumed that Sunrisers Hyderabad would be at sea in the eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League with David Warner out of the season, serving a ban for ball-tampering.
Au contraire, at least from the evidence gathered after their opening encounter against Rajasthan Royals. Under Kane Williamson’s all-too-caring leadership, Hyderabad decimated Rajasthan at home. Williamson wasn’t in the opposition’s grille or throwing his voice around to defeat his rivals mentally. Instead, he did so by marshalling his very able squad to perfection, with absolute knowledge of everyone’s skillset. And when it came to his batting, he supported a fiery Shikhar Dhawan with aplomb.
Clearly, captaincy sits well with Williamson not just as the leader of New Zealand but even in the fast-paced world of the IPL. But the true test is now. Rajasthan were an inferior side and everything Hyderabad did on the day worked. It won’t be nearly as straightforward when Mumbai Indians come to town.
Save an aberration, Mumbai aren’t going to put up a shoddy batting display because their batting might stretches deep. They aren’t going to be putting down catches or letting the opposition collect non-existent runs. Most of all, they aren’t going to come a cropper with the ball in hand, not after their performance in their season starter.
Rohit Sharma’s men could well be considered the second best bowling side after only Hyderabad and that will have a big part to play in what could be a high-scoring contest. The bowlers have a very small margin to work with on the pitch in Uppal which has some extra bounce but for most part is pretty even. Hitting through the line is the way to go and no one will appreciate that more than the Mumbai skipper himself.
Hyderabad probably won’t experiment with their order much because the opening game barely gave them reason to scratch their heads. Mumbai, on the other hand, may want to weigh their options a bit more. The three-time champions looked in control for most part of their opening tie against Chennai Super Kings, and if it wasn’t for a blitz from Dwayne Bravo, they would’ve seen the game through. With due credit to Bravo, his blitz was largely facilitated by a poor bowling show. Mumbai’s bowlers didn’t hit their marks and that left Rohit more flushed than fuming. Of course, they could brush it off as ‘one of those days’ or they can address it by injecting some new names.
Mumbai have been around long enough to know exactly what needs to be done to quell the potential for a losing spree, and Hyderabad know what is needed to keep the winning momentum. Keeping those factors in mind, this should be a fun contest to say the least.
Played 10. Hyderabad 5; Mumbai 5
Head-to-head in Hyderabad
Played 5. Hyderabad 3, Mumbai 2