Having had an extremely unlucky run in this year’s IPL so far, the Mumbai Indians ability to lose closely-contested matches in 2018 has been ridiculous and could quite possibly cost them a late run for a spot in the playoffs. They’re not the only ones, Hyderabad are encountering a downward-slope in form after losing their past two games, they were previously undefeated up until that point in the comp.
After registering their first win of the tournament just recently against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, it appeared as though Mumbai were on the way up after finally breaking the shackles after three-consecutive defeats to start their campaign. With a golden opportunity to get their season well & truly back on track after a terrific victory against a quality outfit, the Mumbai Indians once again stumbled at a crucial moment against the Royals to hand them their fourth loss of the tournament. Some of their big-game players just have the ability to go missing when they’re most needed, for example Evin Lewis and Rohit Sharma who were both dismissed for first-ball ducks. Thankfully Suryakumar Yadav who really has elevated his game at the top of the order and young-wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan were able to build a 134-run partnership, but that doesn’t hide the fact that their inconsistencies are costing them a great deal when it comes to finishing a match. If it wasn’t for Rohit’s spectacular innings of 94 against RCB, we’d still be talking about his struggles with the bat in IPL 11, when in reality he’s under performed substantially. On top of their captain’s form, both Hardik and Krunal Pandya haven’t been anywhere near as impressive with the bat compared to their 2017 form, they’ve scored a combined total of just 134 runs in IPL. Although disappointing with the bat, the Pandya brothers have chipped in with wickets regularly when handed the ball. Speedster Jasprit Bumrah is getting the job done as one of Mumbai’s specialist seamers with seven wickets, he’s managed multiple wickets in his past two outings with the ball. Leggy Mayank Markande exploded onto the IPL scene in 2018 claiming seven wickets in Mumbai’s first two games, however he’s dropped off the pace significantly adding just one wicket in his past three appearances which could call for a change. It might be time to experiment a little with the playing XI…
Sunrisers skipper Kane Williamson may well be channelling his inner-Sir Donald Bradman with the bat, but when results aren’t going your way from a team perspective it’s pretty-much pointless other than an individual accolade. Knowing Williamson’s mentality, he’d be quietly-complacent with his own form, but at the same time extremely disappointed his team has been on the receiving end of back-to-back losses. One of the more humble individuals going around in International cricket, the New Zealander would be far from gloating about his own efforts & more so focusing on how they can improve ahead of their next game. If you’re wondering just how well Williamson has been playing to receive a small-comparison to the Don, his statistics in IPL 11 tells the story. Arguably the best No. 3 of the competition in 2018, Hyderabad’s leader has accumulated 230 runs at 57.50 featuring three half centuries in his five games, his lowest score in his past three innings is 50 against Kolkata. After an undefeated run of three matches, the two losses are a concern despite the team not panicking just yet. Yusuf Pathan displayed his hitting ability against Chennai where the veteran struck a quick-fire 45 down the order to assist with Williamson’s valiant-84, while all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is consistently contributing 20+ runs a game. Here’s a damning statistic, the ultra-impressive Rashid Khan has conceded a whopping-104 runs in his past two matches with the ball, the Afghani leg-spinner is clearly going through a bit of a rough patch and could potentially be dropped given he’s only taken two wickets in the Sunrisers past three games as well. Shakib has also been held wicketless in his past two matches, spin proving to be a dysfunctional tactic for Hyderabad at the moment. Key medium pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been about as reliable as Chris Gayle for Kings XI Punjab, he’s taken at least one wicket in all four games he’s featured in and has only conceded 30+ runs on one occasion, proving to be very-economical as well.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Mumbai Indians | 23rd match | Mumbai
- Jasprit Bumrah
- Krunal Pandya
- Rohit Sharma
- Suryakumar Yadav
- Hardik Pandya
Wildcard pick – Adam Milne
Top 5 fantasy picks | Sunrisers Hyderabad | 23rd match | Mumbai
- Kane Williamson
- Shikhar Dhawan
- Manish Pandey
- Billy Stanlake
- Sandeep Sharma
Wildcard pick – Wriddhiman Saha
Both JP Duminy and Ben Cutting are the big question marks in terms of potential candidates to come into Mumbai’s XI ahead of tomorrow night’s match against Hyderabad. One would suspect that Kieron Pollard in particular would be under some pressure to maintain his spot on the field; he hasn’t contributed anything of significance as of yet in IPL 11 and could be on the brink of being dropped. Fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan could possibly make way for Black Caps teammate Adam Milne who is a speed-machine from all reports, while spinner Mayank Markande could also be replaced by 18-year-old leggy Rahul Chahar who hasn’t made an appearance for Mumbai in the tournament.
Hyderabad will be without Bhuvneshwar Kumar for this upcoming game which should see Sandeep Sharma take his place in the XI. Sunrisers opener Shikhar Dhawan is expected to make his return to the side after sitting out the game against Chennai with a minor-injury sustained against Punjab on Thursday. While it hasn’t been confirmed, VVS Laxman hinted that Dhawan is one of those players who can play through pain if required, and after Hyderabad’s past two losses he’s a crucial part of the team and should be back in action. Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan may have accomplished a large amount of success early in his career already, but at the moment he’s getting a harsh lesson in the wonderful game we call cricket. Rashid’s past two expensive outings with the ball could see fellow-Afghani Mohammad Nabi or local spinner Bipul Sharma enter the playing XI depending on how Hyderabad choose to use their overseas players.
Mumbai Indians (possible) – 1. Suryakumar Yadav 2. Evin Lewis 3. Ishan Kishan (wk) 4. Rohit Sharma © 5. Kieron Pollard/JP Duminy 6. Krunal Pandya 7. Hardik Pandya 8. Mitchell McClenaghan/Adam Milne 9. Mayank Markande 10. Jasprit Bumrah 11. Mustafizur Rahman.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (possible) – 1. Wriddhiman Saha (wk) 2. Shikhar Dhawan/Ricky Bhui 3. Kane Williamson © 4. Manish Pandey 5. Shakib Al Hasan 6. Yusuf Pathan 7. Deepak Hooda 8. Rashid Khan/Mohammad Nabi 9. Sandeep Sharma 10. Billy Stanlake 11. Siddarth Kaul.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.