It can't be easy to replace a man with 692 runs this season and maybe Sunrisers shouldn't try to. There will be a temptation to use Martin Guptill, the second highest run-getter in T20Is, but with Manish Pandey striking form, the better option might be to reshuffle the batting order to open with Kane Williamson and fill the fourth overseas slot with Billy Stanlake. With Sunrisers struggling a bit in the fast bowling department, Stanlake can slot in for Sandeep Sharma and add more firepower to the pace unit.
Thanks to their healthy net run-rate (0.709), a victory against Mumbai Indians on Thursday will help Sunrisers put one foot into the playoffs even if they lose their last game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. And as it happens, it will also put an end to Rajasthan Royals' hopes of making it to the top four.
For Mumbai, the equation is a bit simpler. A win would take them into the qualifiers and with 16 points from 13 games, they needn't even worry about net run-rate and other results. In Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock, they have a settled and in form opening combination, with the likes of Evin Lewis, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard to follow.
In the news
With Warner having left for Australia, Sunrisers have a big decision to make. "We've got a few options, haven't we?" head coach Tom Moody said on the eve the match. "We are looking at those options at the moment. Guptill is the obvious one, being a world-class opener himself, a like-for-like replacement. But you know, there's also that option to consider looking at someone like Billy Stanlake at a venue like this."
When these two sides met earlier in the tournament, Sunrisers were bundled out for 96 while chasing 137 as Alzarri Joseph picked up 6 for 12, the best bowling figures ever in the IPL.
Mumbai Indians: 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Rohit Sharma (capt), 3 Evin Lewis, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Barinder Sran, 9 Rahul Chahar, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 1 Kane Williamson (capt), 2 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 3 Manish Pandey, 4 Vijay Shankar, 5 Yusuf Pathan, 6 Mohammad Nabi, 7 Rashid Khan, 8 Abhishek Sharma, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Khaleel Ahmed, 11 Billy Stanlake
Hardik and Pollard have been taking apart bowling attacks in the death this season, but in Rashid Khan Sunrisers have someone who boasts a great record against both. Hardik has managed just 14 off 26 balls while getting out twice to the legspinner in three T20 innings, and while Pollard has got out just once to Rashid in eight innings, he has managed only 28 off 36 balls. Therefore, Sunrisers might consider saving Rashid for Mumbai's biggest hitters.
Despite going for plenty in their last game, Bumrah and Malinga remain Mumbai's best bet in the death. Together the two have 20 wickets with an economy of 9.2 in overs 16 to 20. The other Mumbai bowlers have 12 wickets at an economy of 11.7.
Stats that matter
Sunrisers have played six matches in Mumbai, winning one and losing five.
Yusuf Pathan has scored 84 runs off 62 deliveries off Malinga in T20s, without getting out even once.
Sunrisers have the best run-rate (9.3) in the Powerplays in IPL 2019. Warner and Jonny Bairstow had a lot to do with that and both of them have left the team. On the flip side, their run-rate of 9.1 in the overs 16 to 20 is the worst among the eight teams this season.