The tenth game of the IPL 2017 is scheduled to be played between Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday. Both the teams have had a contrasting run in the tournament so far.
SRH have won both their games while MI have had a mixed run, with a win and a loss. Hyderabad will be oozing with confidence after an emphatic win in the previous encounter while MI had a nail-biting finish against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Both the sides are filled with some proven match-winners and both are looking to continue their winning momentum and one can expect them to come out hard. SRH have put in two strong performances and dismantled the opposition convincingly. This encounter against the star-studded MI’s will be, in one way or the other, SRH’s litmus test.
Expect an intense contest when both these heavyweights lock horns at Wankhede on Wednesday night.
#1 With the bat
Warner will be the man to watch out for at the top and his wicket will be an important one for MI. Known for his maverick approach and long innings, MI will find themselves in hot water if Warner gets going.
While SRH have been a force to reckon with, Warner has been the tormentor-in-chief at the top and has managed to get his team off to flying starts on a regular basis. Moises Henriques has also been a massive contributor at the top and played well in two games so far.
To add to their golden fortunes, Yuvraj Singh’s return to form has also boosted their confidence as they are no longer heavily reliant on Warner to bail them out every time.
For MI, they have found a solid player in the form of Nitish Rana. Jos Buttler at the top has worked for them as he has successfully provided winning starts to the side. A lot will depend on Rohit Sharma, he holds the key with his belligerence and ability to anchor the innings.
Hardik Pandya has been sensational and garnered priceless runs with his cameos in last two encounters. MI have some solid depth and stability in their batting but Rohit and Pandya will hold the key.
#2 With the ball
Mustafizur Rahman is expected to join SRH for this encounter, which will make their bowling attack even more potent. Rashid Khan has shown what he is made and is undoubtedly the player to watch out for in the matches to come. Ashish Nehra will be handy with the new ball and has built a reputation of chipping early wickets with the new ball.
With Lasith Malinga back in the line-up, MI’s bowling attack looks lethal. He can wreak havoc and is capable of scalping a couple of wickets out of thin air. He will be the man to watch out for against SRH as their middle-order is relatively weaker as compared to the top order.
Mitchell Mclenaghan had an awful run in their previous encounter against KKR, where Manish Pandey destroyed him in the final over but one can expect him to bounce back emphatically in this game.
Like every other game, strategy will play a massive role in this encounter as well. MI’s think tanks will have to come out with a plan to stop Warner at the top and test SRH’s Achilles Heel. Warner has not been as handy against spin and MI can probably try Krunal Pandya against him at the top.
Yuvraj Singh, on other hand, has been vulnerable against short pitched deliveries and McClenaghan can come handy for MI.
On the other hand, SRH have been astute in their planing and counter-attacking with the ball as well. Rohit, who has been out of action for a while with injuries and has not managed to get going in two games so far, has a weakness against the ball moving away from him and SRH have the likes of Nehra and Rahman to exploit it.
Mustafizur will undoubtedly hold the key for SRH, should he play, as he has been the most unsolved bowler in contemporary cricket. His quota of four overs is almost unplayable and he not only chips in with wickets, but also contains the batsman.
For MI, Hardik will have a huge role to play as he has inflicted massive damage in last two games. Along with Pandya, Buttler will also be the man to watch out for at the top.
Buttler got couple of good start in the two games but was unlucky to fall prey to bad decisions. The Englishman can put the opposition under the pump with his belligerence and smart batting.
Despite SRH having a well-balanced look, their weak middle-order can be a benefitting factor for the MI. If they manage to get rid of Warner and then Yuvraj early, SRH will be in trouble. Malinga could pose a massive threat to their domestic crop as most of them have no experience in confronting the well-oiled bowler.
MI, despite having a star-studded line-up, faltered in the first game and almost lost the game against KKR as well. They have some serious ammunition in the middle with Kieron Pollard, Krunal and Hardik Pandya and they need to step up to ensure MI register their second win on the trot.