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Cricket news - Buoyant Mumbai stand in SRH's slippery path
Will SRH under Williamson continue to use Rashid Khan in the PowerPlay?
Seven games, one win, six losses, a new skipper and an uncertain future for their most talismanic figure. Things have slid rapidly down the spiral for Sunrisers Hyderabad this year in the IPL. Does the path for revival get any easier? Not really when your next two opponents are Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. One of them is the defending champion and the other has been the form team of the tournament. While the focus understandably has been on David Warner for a while now, the management has made it clear that he will continue to spend more time on the sidelines. To get this campaign back on track, SRH pretty much need a miracle at this point.
They don't have to look further than their own campaign in 2020 though when they changed things and beat the top three teams on the table in their final three games to make a late dash into the playoffs. But in all fairness, if they can pull it off again, then this would top their UAE heroics. In order to even entertain those thoughts, they will have to plot MI's downfall on Tuesday (May 4). A jittery start to their campaign received a massive boost following that epic win over their arch-rivals CSK. More often than not, that sort of a victory propels them into top gear.
When: SRH vs MI, May 4, 2021
Where: Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi
What to expect: Contrary to popular belief, the surfaces in Delhi have seen batsmen blossom. The pitches haven't been spinner friendly like many expected it to be. And the shorter boundaries are only adding to the woes of the bowlers. MI's fearsome batting line-up will relish this.
Head to Head: SRH 8 - 9 MI
These two already faced each other in the season during the Chennai leg. Kieron Pollard was MI's saviour with the bat back then and SRH then suffered a collapse, something they are renowned for these days, to end up 13 runs short.
Tactics & Matchups: Kane Williamson struggled to introduce Mohammad Nabi into the attack against Rajasthan Royals with two well-set right-handers at the crease. It's highly unlikely the Afghanistan allrounder will be picked against the marauding MI batters. Jason Holder is likely to return to the XI. Even though Pollard and Hardik are known to murder spin, Rashid Khan's good record against the duo might force SRH to alter their plans once again and reserve a couple of overs for the latter stages.
Probable XI: Jonny Bairstow (WK), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson (C), Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, Jason Holder, Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma/Basil Thampi
Tactics & Matchups: If SRH do use Rashid in the powerplay again, then Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock will have to be cautious. Both have had issues against spin especially early in their innings. A promotion to the in-form Pollard ahead of Krunal Pandya at 4 cannot be ruled out either.
Probable XI: Quinton de Kock (WK), Rohit Sharma (C), Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, James Neesham, Rahul Chahar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
Did you know?
- Kieron Pollard averages 39.75 at a strike rate of 162.79 in T20 cricket since January 2019.
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar has conceded runs at 9.11 this season. His economy never went over 8 in the previous editions.
What they said:
"We have had a lot of challenges over the last three weeks, but we need to make small adjustments and put in improved performances. It is a bit of character building for us, so we just need to swallow it and move ahead. This game can change quickly and it is a game of fine lines. We just need to be clear of what we want to do each day." - Kane Williamson
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