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The caravan moves back to the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai where teams have had a nightmare chasing down totals (apart from the season opener which saw some AB de Villiers magic). It’s match number nine in this 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Mumbai Indians face Sunrisers Hyderabad. These two sides were at different ends of the hara-kiri in the back to back games at Chepauk a few days ago.
Mumbai Indians (MI) defended 152 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to register first points in this tournament. The middle-order once again crumbled at the death and couldn’t capitalise on the start provided by the top three.
With the ball, they looked down and out for most part of the game before bouncing back and defending 31 off the last five overs. The spinners were magnificent and the fast bowlers who looked inconsistent at the start finished the game strongly. MI have played nowhere close to their best but they have somehow managed to get two points from as many games.
On the other hand, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have been at the other end of the choke as they crumbled under pressure while chasing 150 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
The David Warner-led side lost to KKR in their opening game as they fell 10 runs short while chasing 188 before the RCB bowlers applied the choke in the last four overs to hand SRH their second successive defeat. The bowling has been slightly inconsistent and they have been expensive at the death. The batters haven’t really quite got going. Thus, SRH will be hoping they can shrug off this inconsistency.
Team news: Mumbai Indians
Hardik Pandya is dealing with a shoulder niggle and hence, he hasn’t bowled in the two games so far. There are no fitness or injury concerns apart from that and all players are fit and available for selection. It is unlikely that MI will want to change a winning combination.
Team news: Sunrisers Hyderabad
After the first game, SRH head coach Trevor Bayliss had mentioned that Kane Williamson needs a little more time to get match fit. He didn’t mention a particular time but with the SRH middle-order struggling, they might get try to fit Williamson in and Jonny Bairstow may have to miss out. Meanwhile, SRH may also opt for the experience of Kedar Jadhav in place of Vijay Shankar who has been disappointing in the two games so far.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Marco Jansen, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Wriddhiman Saha (wk), David Warner (c), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson/Jonny Bairstow, Vijay Shankar/Kedar Jadhav, Jason Holder, Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Shahbaz Nadeem
Suryakumar Yadav: Suryakumar Yadav has been very consistent ever since he moved to MI in 2018. He has got 400+ in each of the last three seasons. Moreover, he has started this season extremely well too. He has looked like the best MI batsman in the first couple of games.
The Mumbai-born batsman seemed to be batting on a different surface compared to the others. He dominated the bowlers on a sluggish Chepauk track and batted beautifully. Some of the shots he played left his own team-mates in awe. Yadav has scores of 31 and 56 while striking at 147.45 in the two games so far. Thus, he will continue to be a key at No. 3 for MI.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Bhuvneshwar Kumar has had a sedate start to this IPL 2021. The ace India and SRH fast bowler has picked up a wicket in each of the two games but he has tended to be slightly expensive, especially at the death. His indifferent form has had an impacted SRH’s fortunes with the ball. He has done well in patches in these two games. He was in solid rhythm and form in the white-ball series against England and SRH will be hoping Bhuvneshwar can get back to full flow.
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