Struggling Mumbai Indians face the Uppal test
Monday, May 12, 2014
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)
Hours before the game between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils dug themselves into a hole by keeping their batsmen down the order for too long. Against a team ranked No. 2 on the points table, Mumbai Indians played to a similar strategy - Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Corey Anderson all came in in the second half of the innings - and they were restricted to 157.
Mumbai retained Kieron Pollard and paid big money for Corey Anderson but with time running out in their campaign, they may want to look at giving both batsmen more time in the middle. A strong top order last season meant Mumbai played Pollard at No. 5, but this season the signs are he needs to be pushed up. Mumbai are one of only two teams - the other being Daredevils - to not have at least one fifty-plus opening partnership, and both these teams are stuck at the bottom of the table.
Heavily reliant on their bowling, Sunrisers have rediscovered some of the form that took them to the play-offs in IPL 2013. The match against Mumbai is the first of four home games for them, and they will be keen to emulate their stellar record at Uppal last season, where they won seven out of eight games. Apart from a 200+ score by Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers didn't concede 150+ at home last year and they will be eager to establish that kind of dominance this time too.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: WWLWL (most recent first)
Mumbai Indians: LWWLL
Where they stand
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 5th on the table with four wins in eight games
Mumbai Indians: 7th, with two wins in eight games
In the last game between the two teams, in Dubai, the trio of Dale Steyn, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Irfan Pathan managed to put the brakes on a rampaging Kieron Pollard, who almost took Mumbai to their first win. Irfan gave away just four runs in the final over to lead Sunrisers to a 15-run win, after David Warner's 65 had pushed them to 172.
Watch out for
Amit Mishra choked Rajasthan Royals in Ahmedabad and then got the 100-IPL-wickets bogey of his back against Daredevils with flight and variations in pace and spin. He can be expected to be a handful at home, where last season he took 12 wickets from eight games at an economy rate of 5.37.
Lendl Simmons took the field against Chennai Super Kings as Mumbai's third overseas opener of the season. In 63 innings as an opener, Simmons has scored 1655 runs at a strike rate of 111, and 12 of his 14 fifties in the format have come at that slot. He scored 38 in his first IPL match and will hope to provide the stability Mumbai desperately need at the top.
Stats and trivia
- After Dale Steyn (917), the bowler to bowl the most dot balls in the IPL is Praveen Kumar (863)
- Bowling in the last five overs, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has conceded 68 runs in eight matches at an economy rate of 6.47, and taken 10 wickets. His overall figures in this IPL so far are: 173 runs, 15 wickets at 11.53, with an economy rate of 5.49
"David is an exceptional player but at the moment the balance of the side requires him to bat at No. 4."
Sunrisers' coach Tom Moody suggests David Warner might bat for an extended period at No. 4
"There came a point when I actually stopped getting out of my house, thinking what people would talk about me and feared if they would ask me different kinds of questions."
Mumbai Indians' Praveen Kumar on the disappointment he felt after he went unsold at the IPL auction
Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo