Can Sunrisers Hyderabad lock in a spot in the 2019 IPL playoffs? Coming up against the Mumbai Indians, it’s going to be a tough ask. The loss of star-batsman David Warner could be Hyderabad’s biggest downfall, he’s basically held the team together for the entire tournament up until now. Given that this match is being played at the Wankhede Stadium, I fear for the Sunrisers who are going to have to produce something pretty spectacular to bring down Mumbai on their home ground.
Even know they didn’t get the chocolates against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens, Mumbai would’ve liked what they seen from all-rounder Hardik Pandya who produced the best display of six-hitting in this season’s IPL so far. Pushing Rishabh Pant off the mantle for the fastest fifty in the tournament, Hardik’s 34-ball demolition with the willow silenced the home crowd as he went on to sink 9 sixes in his epic 91. Not only did Hardik produce one of the best knocks in the tournament for Mumbai, he also made his fellow-batsmen look utterly useless which has put the spotlight on the likes of Quinton de Kock, Evin Lewis, Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav for this next match. Rohit has been like a flickering light bulb, he’s threatened to go massive a couple times before losing his spark again which just about sums up his last three seasons in the IPL. Suryakumar Yadav has been nowhere-near as impressive compared to last season, he’s averaging below 25 and could be replaced by either Yuvraj Singh or Ishan Kishan given his inability to covert starts into big scores.
I guess Mumbai’s unpredictability in their batting line-up is what makes them an even more difficult prospect to plan for, any one of them could come out and destroy an opposition bowling attack out of thin air regardless of their form in the tournament. It’s not very often that you see both Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah getting pummelled to & over the boundary rope, let alone in the same match! Malinga (0/48) and Bumrah (0/44) went for a combined-92 runs in Kolkata which had to be seen to be believed. Even the in-form Rahul Chahar conceded a whopping 54 runs from his four overs, it was just one of those days. After four games on the road, Mumbai are finally back home at Wankhede Stadium which should see their two frontline seamers return to their influential-best. Without their two leading run-scorers in the team, Mumbai will be targeting Hyderabad’s weakened batting line-up in a bid to qualify for this year’s playoffs.
It was always going to be an issue for them at the backend of this year’s tournament, however the departures of both Jonny Bairstow and David Warner really has left them in a spot of bother. The impact that David Warner has had on this team is ridiculous, 692 runs at 69.20 still sees him leading the orange cap award in IPL 12. Kane Williamson’s niggling-injury has resulted in a significant decline in form with the bat after dominating the competition in 2018 with 735 runs, the Black Caps skipper managing just 55 runs from six outings this season. His fellow-New Zealand teammate Martin Guptill will replace the red-hot David Warner in the playing XI, but despite Guptill’s impressive T20 record this competition has a track record of making the most skilful players in the world look silly at times. The loss of Warner could hurt Manish Pandey who has found form with the bat in his past three outings with scores of 83*, 61 and 36. Does Hyderabad go for more batting depth now, or will they roll the dice on a number of all-rounders who haven’t really fired with the bat this season?
Whilst their batting line-up gets set to undergo a pretty significant makeover, the Sunrisers bowling unit remains intact and ready to lead them to a playoffs-birth. A strong core-group of bowlers consisting of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed and Rashid Khan is enough to trouble any opposition batting line-up. Since returning from injury, Khaleel Ahmed has been the strike bowler Hyderabad was missing earlier this season and has accumulated 11 wickets from his six outings so far. Even the wonder-spinner from Afghanistan has found it difficult to impact contests at times, but Rashid Khan looks to be back to his damaging-best after claiming 3/21 against Punjab. The bowling won’t be the issue in this match, it’ll be the foreign-looking batting setup that may undo them. We got to see a different side of Wriddhiman Saha in Hyderabad’s last game, he was extremely aggressive at the top of the order which is exactly what is needed of him in the absence of some key names.
Top 4 fantasy picks – Mumbai Indians
- Hardik Pandya
- Lasith Malinga
- Rohit Sharma
- Quinton de Kock
Wildcard pick – Kieron Pollard
Top 4 fantasy picks – Sunrisers Hyderabad
- Rashid Khan
- Manish Pandey
- Khaleel Ahmed
- Martin Guptill
Wildcard pick – Wriddhiman Saha
Mumbai Indians (possible) – 1. Quinton de Kock (wk) 2. Rohit Sharma © 3. Evin Lewis 4. Suryakumar Yadav/Yuvraj Singh 5. Kieron Pollard 6. Hardik Pandya 7. Krunal Pandya 8. Anukul Roy 9. Rahul Chahar 10. Jasprit Bumrah 11. Lasith Malinga.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (possible) – 1. Martin Guptill 2. Wriddhiman Saha (wk) 3. Manish Pandey 4. Kane Williamson © 5. Vijay Shankar 6. Mohammad Nabi 7. Abhishek Sharma/Deepak Hooda/Yusuf Pathan 8. Rashid Khan 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10. Khaleel Ahmed 11. Sandeep Sharma.
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.