After the postponed match on Monday, the Indian Premier League returns on Tuesday and it is back in Delhi for the clash between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the defending champions Mumbai Indians.
The Sunrisers go into this match bottom of the pile and are running out of time if they are going to launch a tilt at the top four. Mumbai occupy fourth spot after a resurgence since they left Chennai and need to keep winning to consolidate that position.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad pulled the plug on the David Warner captaincy but it didn’t have an immediate effect as they suffered another huge defeat to the Rajasthan Royals last time out. Excuses are beginning to run a little thin for the Sunrisers because they have given themselves more options by playing a form captain but still their performances are not what we would expect from this team.
The bowling is the big issue now. It went round the park again on Sunday and while we should acknowledge that the pitches here in Delhi are playing lovely this season, the bowling just doesn’t look as good as in previous seasons and their batting order isn’t really designed to bail out bad bowling performances. You’ve got to think Jason Holder will come in for this match after Mohammad Nabi went all round the park but it will be interesting to see how many other changes they make.
The Mumbai Indians go into this match having won their last two games. That isn’t a surprise to me necessarily. I said right at the outset that I expected them to come into their own once they left the tacky pitches in Chennai and that is exactly what we have seen so far. Their bowlers haven’t really made the adjustment I think it is fair to say, but their batsmen certainly have. They won their last match from a near impossible position as well and that sort of things give a team confidence.
We are used to Mumbai beginning campaigns slowly and then as everyone gets up and running and into a groove they put consistent performances and results together and it would appear that is the script they are following once again this term. Always key for Mumbai is their power finishers. Kieron Pollard is firing fully now and if they can get Hardik Pandya into the same sort of form then they are going to be tough to stop once again.
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This Mumbai batting is beginning to look frightening so the Sunrisers Hyderabad could really do with Bhuvneshwar Kumar at his very best. He hasn’t looked great in orange this season but he was outstanding in the recent India vs England series which wasn’t long ago. Sunrisers need that form from their star seamer here.
Kieron Pollard has already feasted on this Sunrisers attack once when he made 35* from 22 balls in the first meeting between the two this season and now he has conditions very much to his liking here. Sunrisers have been expensive at the death this term and the Trinidadian is just the man to take advantage of that.
I’ve been betting on the boundaries throughout the matches on this ground but I’m going to park that for this match as I’m a little wary that the Sunrisers have missed training leading up to this match due to the Covid issues which have suddenly hit the tournament. Their batting has already crumbled to the Mumbai Indians when they prepared fully so even on a good wicket we shouldn’t rule out that they are not at the races here.
One player who certainly should be is Kieron Pollard. He has caught fire in recent times. That all started in the reverse meeting between these two sides where he clobbered 35* and he bettered that against Chennai on this ground in the last match when he smashed 87* against Chennai from just 34 balls. He was already going well in that match having taken two wickets with the ball so I’m a little surprised that we can get a performance line at 26.5 for him here. He can cover this with the bat or the ball or a combination of the two. He is also a gun fielder so there is plenty of potential for this to be covered.
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