Lack of home advantage has been one of the features of the Indian Premier League’s 13th edition since the pandemic has forced it to be played in the United Arab Emirates. On that note, Sunday’s day game between Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad will surely be a clash of equals since both the teams will be in action at Sharjah for the first time this season.
Even when it comes to the head-to-head record, the two teams have little to choose from, tied at seven wins apiece in the 14 games in IPL ever since the Sunrisers made their debut in 2013.
After starting the tournament with successive losses, Sunrisers was forced to tinker with its combination. Kane Williamson and Abdul Samad’s inclusion has worked in that sense, with the team notching up back-to-back wins against formidable Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings. Despite the impetus created due to the wins, Sunrisers will be concerned with Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s injury on Friday.
The lead pacer pulled up a muscle while defending the total versus CSK and couldn’t complete his last over. If Bhuvneshwar cannot start on Sunday, the Sunrisers will need to look at the bench strength.
Mumbai, on the other hand, enter the game high on confidence, with virtually all its key players coming good against a comprehensive win against Kings XI Punjab mid-week. The only concern for them would be the form of Quinton de Kock at the top of the order. The Protean has just not fired in the four games so far and it remains to be seen if the franchise hands Chris Lynn a debut with Ishan Kishan behind the stumps.
Chris Lynn. – FILE PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES
The key men
One of the stand-out features of Sunrisers success against Mumbai Indians has been leggie Rashid Khan. The Afghan spinner has conceded less than five runs an over in his 24 overs against MI. His battle against the big-hitters Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya could well decide the course of the match.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (Capt.), Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Anmolpreet Singh, Digvijay Deshmukh, Dhawal Kulkarni ,Chris Lynn, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohsin Khan, James Pattinson, Prince Balwant Rai, Anukul Roy, Sherfane Rutherford, Aditya Tare, Saurabh Tiwary, Jayant Yadav.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (Captain), Jonny Bairstow (Wicketkeeper), Kane Williamson, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Manish Pandey, Virat Singh, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jason Holder, Fabian Allen, Vijay Shankar, Sanjay Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha (Wicketkeeper), Shreevats Goswami (Wicketkeeper), Bavanaka Sandeep, Basil Thampi, Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, Billy Stanlake, T Natarajan, Abhishek Sharma.
Match 17, Mumbai Indians vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
Date: October 4, Sunday
Time: 3:30 PM IST