The Sunrisers Hyderabad are a big chance to knock off the reigning champions of the IPL on their home deck, Mumbai uncharacteristically went down to the Super Kings in their season opener in front of a packed home crowd.
Life without David Warner isn’t proving to be a problem for Hyderabad at the moment, they were easily the most impressive team to open their account in 2018 with a prolific-performance against the Rajasthan Royals. Their bowling unit deserves a huge pat on the back, it can often be difficult to restrict teams to limited-totals in the IPL, but when done successfully the result is extremely rewarding like we witnessed in that game four encounter at Hyderabad. If anything, the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan underperformed if that makes any sense, picking up just the one wicket each compared to their 2-3 per game on average. That’s not to say they didn’t bowl well, everyone played their part with all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan (2/23) and Siddarth Kaul (2/17) having an impact while keeping the runs to a minimum. What caught my eye in particular was the partnership between skipper Kane Williamson & his bowlers, the New Zealander set fields that teased the batsmen to hit over the top. The bowlers bowled to their field magnificently as a number of Rajasthan’s batsmen hit it straight down the throat of fielders in the deep. It was probably a lack of awareness from the Royals who picked the wrong deliveries to go after, expect Mumbai to find other scoring outlets given their productivity & cricketing smarts at the crease. We didn’t get a real-good look at the Sunrisers batting line-up given they only lost one wicket chasing down 127 with relative ease, what we did see was an in-form Shikhar Dhawan dominate with his unbeaten 78 alongside skipper Kane Williamson. Real positive signs for Hyderabad with Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan and Shakib Al Hasan not required in that first game, but we all know what each of those guys are capable of. Out of that echelon of batsmen, Manish Pandey could potentially be the one to light up Hyderabad tomorrow night.
The Mumbai Indians shouldn’t be fazed by their slow-start to IPL 11, at the end of the day they were defeated but can still take a handful of positives away from that loss. West Indian batting-phenomenon Evin Lewis was unlucky to lose his wicket early with a ball marginally hitting the leg stump after he was given out lbw, and Rohit Sharma also missed out on a prime-opportunity to play a match winning knock for his side. Apart from those two early wickets, Mumbai looked really threatening with Ishan Kishan (40), Suryakumar Yadav (43) and the Pandya brothers blasting away as the total ballooned out to 165 in no time. It’s amazing to think that Mumbai lost this match with the big-hitting Kieron Pollard not even required to bat, he could have well been the difference in the end, although I’m not sure what more the home side could have done given their middle order dominated anyway. With their batting in check, the match was probably lost in the bowling department as Dwayne Bravo’s seven sixes put Mumbai on the ropes late in the innings. Hardik Pandya played his part in the attack claiming 3/24 from his full quota of overs, while rookie spinner Mayank Markande was super-impressive for his 3/23. Shockingly, Mumbai’s most skilled bowlers conceded majority of the runs during the Super Kings onslaught. Mitchell McClenaghan, Mustafizur Rahman and Jasprit Bumrah were belted for a combined score of 120 runs for just three wickets. Those three will need to improve on that performance, they have limited quality overseas bowlers at the moment after one of their most valuable signings has been ruled out of this year’s IPL due to injury. The pressure will be on skipper Rohit Sharma to get the team off to a flyer against Hyderabad, he’s one of the most iconic figures in the franchise and needs to live up to those lofty-standards that we’ve seen him achieve.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Sunrisers Hyderabad | 7th match | Hyderabad (Deccan)
- Kane Williamson
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar
- Rashid Khan
- Shikhar Dhawan
- Manish Pandey
Wildcard pick – Billy Stanlake
Top 5 fantasy picks | Mumbai Indians | 7th match | Hyderabad (Deccan)
- Ishan Kishan
- Rohit Sharma
- Hardik Pandya
- Mayank Markande
- Krunal Pandya
Wildcard pick – Kieron Pollard
After such a dominant-victory against Rajasthan at home the other day, It’s unlikely that Hyderabad will make any changes for tomorrow night’s clash against Mumbai. Fast bowler Basil Thampi is still awaiting his opportunity after playing a key role for Gujarat in last year’s IPL, but Siddarth Kaul was impressive for his two wickets & should retain his spot in the XI. Perhaps the biggest surprise though was that Alex Hales was not selected in the team, he was picked to replace Warner but decided against him in their opening game. With majority of the batting line-up not required in Hyderabad’s last match, it’s hard to see Hales forcing out one of Shakib, Rashid Khan or Billy Stanlake.
Dealt a huge injury blow with star-paceman Pat Cummins ruled out of the 2018 IPL due to a back injury, Mumbai will have to look for other avenues in the wickets department this year. After a two- ball duck in his first outing for Mumbai, that brings JP Duminy into the picture having batted up the order in a number of franchises including his country South Africa. After relatively expensive outings, the Mumbai Indians are expected to persist with McClenaghan and Mustafizur given there are currently no other better options in the squad.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (possible) – 1. Wriddhiman Saha (wk) 2. Shikhar Dhawan 3. Kane Williamson © 4. Manish Pandey 5. Deepak Hooda 6. Yusuf Pathan 7. Shakib Al Hasan 8. Rashid Khan 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10. Siddarth Kaul 11. Billy Stanlake.
Mumbai Indians (possible) – 1. Rohit Sharma © 2. Evin Lewis/JP Duminy 3. Ishan Kishan (wk) 4. Suryakumar Yadav 5. Hardik Pandya 6. Krunal Pandya 7. Kieron Pollard 8. Mustafizur Rahman 9. Jasprit Bumrah 10. Mitchell McClenaghan 11. Mayank Markande.
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.