Mustafizur Rahman vs Ben Cutting – which way will Sunrisers swing?
With Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell McClenaghan, Mumbai Indians have a bowling attack that is as good as the one Sunrisers Hyderabad have been fielding so far in the tournament. However, Mustafizur Rahman, now available for selection, could again tilt the scales in favour of the Sunrisers. And that is exactly why the Bangladesh pacer is going to play a very important role in how you go about picking players for today’s fixture.
If the Sunrisers decide to bring in Mustafizur, it has to be in place of Ben Cutting, which will result in sacrificing the extra batting cushion the Australian all-rounder offers. It will be an all-out aggressive move, and for it to work, they will have to be bowling first. Batting first could be touch-and-go, as the wicket of David Warner will most probably seal the match as well; the rest of the batting order simply does not have the quality to set a defendable target.
And the Sunrisers know it, too, which is why they have stuck with Cutting this year despite the availability of Mohammad Nabi and Chris Jordan. The 30-year-old's big-hitting ability against pacers at the death plays an important role in the working of their team. So, don't be surprised if Fizz is left out. They may also drop Bipul Sharma for Barinder Sran, as Mumbai have too many left-handers in their top order to use his left-arm spin.
MI vs SRH – Fantasy Factors
With Moises Henriques not contributing in his secondary department, this is not a bowling attack against which I would want to bring him in just for his batting. But he has been looking really good and will soon come in into my scheme of things. Yuvraj Singh, at this stage of his career, will have to deal with a little too much pace on the ball than he would ideally like to.
Between Rashid Khan and Mustafizur Rahman, the former would be a safer option at this point of the tournament. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar in my team, I don’t see the need for Ashish Nehra. The left-arm pacer hasn’t been bowling at his best, too.
As far as Rohit Sharma is concerned, I stick to what I have been saying so far: let him make his first real score and I will get him in at once. Hardik Pandya has been amongst the points, yes, but you can’t run after all the trends, especially when it is as low percentage as it is in his case. This leaves me with Jos Buttler, Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga.
As predicted in the last related article, Bumrah ended up finishing his bowling quota earlier than one would like to for ideal fantasy returns, thanks to Mumbai having three death bowling options. Till this clears up, I am not trusting him.
Malinga and Buttler – Factors in play
If Mustafizur Rahman and Rashid Khan play and SRH bowl first:
While it is true that Mumbai Indians playing twice in three matches calls for Schedule Mantra, it is not always that straightforward. Buttler in Mumbai Indians colours has been flirting with a big knock for a while, but to expect him to give returns against a team that has Mustafizur, Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar would be desperate. Yuzvendra Chahal and Samuel Badree, who could play the next match ahead of Billy Stanlake, can get the better of him in the second fixture.
Mumbai may not score enough for Malinga to be effective, which rules him out as well. And Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers can negate his threat at the Chinnaswamy in the next match.
If Mustafizur Rahman and Rashid Khan play and SRH bat first
Get Malinga in for sure. Buttler, on the other hand, becomes 50-50. SRH could get bowled out for a below-par total, which will result in the England wicketkeeper-batsman helping himself to an easy-paced 50. I would, however, still not pick him.
If one of Mustafizur Rahman/Rashid Khan doesn’t play and SRH bat first/second
Get both Malinga and Buttler in. Simply put, the Fizz and the Afghani wizard together complemented by Bhuvneshwar Kumar is way too much quality to mess with. Taking one of them out evens up things between the two teams and the Mumbai Indians players become worthy enough of being in your team.
Transfers made – 1 (2/3); Transfers 63 (62/61)
Chris Morris out – David Warner in
*Imran Tahir out – Lasith Malinga in
*Ben Stokes out – Jos Buttler in
(uncapped) Mayank Agarwal out – Deepak Hooda in
Uncapped preference order – Deepak Hooda/Krunal Pandya/Nitish Rana
Captain – David Warner
K Pandya’s batting form doesn’t seem to be all that good, and he may not bowl his full quota today with three left-handers to deal with in the SRH top 4; Hooda’s off-spin, on the other hand, could come in handy against the likes of Parthiv Patel, Rana and K Pandya, and at No.5, there is a good chance that he could contribute with the bat as well. Rana is a best case 30-run player, pales in comparison to the other two today.
* indicates conditional transfers based on the Fizz in/out scenarios given above.