IPL 2019: Sunrisers Hyderabad eyes playoff berth without Warner

Sunrisers Hyderabad desperately requires a win against Mumbai Indians to stay in contention for a playoff berth.

Sunrisers Hyderabad needs a win against Mumbai Indians to keep its playoff hopes alive.   -  AFP Photo

It’s a do-or-die battle for Sunrisers Hyderabad. The Kane Williamson-led side, which reached the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) last year, stands in a tricky situation this time around, with 12 points from as many games.

And it desperately requires a win against Mumbai Indians on Thursday to stay in contention for a playoff berth.

With Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals having already reached the playoffs, the contest for the next two slots have spiced up. Mumbai Indians has 14 points and a win here will help the side become the third team to reach the last-four stage, while Sunrisers too needs a victory to keep its hopes alive.

Read: Warner's absence creates opportunity for others, says Tom Moody

But coming into the fixture, Sunrisers is without its star opener, David Warner, who has flown back to Australia to join the camp for the World Cup. Warner had a terrific outing -- amassing 692 runs from 12 matches -- and his absence could impact the team’s chances. However, with a strong batting line-up starring captain Williamson, Manish Pandey, all-rounder Vijay Shankar, the visiting team look quite strong, at least on paper. And to add to it, Wriddhiman Saha returning to form is another boost.

With a perfect mix of pace and spin, bowling department has always been an area of strength for Sunrisers. Even as its spinner, Rashid Khan, is in red hot form, but on Thursday, a lot would depend on how its pacers -- Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed fare.

Also read: Finch tips fired-up Warner to dominate World Cup

Mumbai Indians hasn’t had a remarkable outing at home. It has won three of its five outings at the Wankhede and it will be a challenge for the side to tackle Sunrisers.

The home team looks well settled with South African Quinton de Kock -- 393 from 12 matches -- and captain Rohit Sharma -- 307 runs from 11 games -- at the top.

The middle-order is taken care of by hard hitters Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard, who have been in good touch. But for the home team, it is important that Surya Kumar Yadav and Krunal Pandya convert the starts into bigger scores.

Also read: Hardik Pandya hits the ball a long way, says Kieron Pollard

In the bowling department, Mumbai will miss left-arm Australian pacer Jason Behrendroff, who has also headed home to join the World Cup camp. But with Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga and Hardik around, the pace department looks formidable.

Both the teams hope to play some smart cricket, but they are aware that one slip-up here could dash their dreams!

The Teams (from)

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (captain), Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Hooda, Manish Pandey, T Natarajan, Ricky Bhui, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, Shreevats Goswami, Khaleel Ahmed, Yusuf Pathan, Billy Stanlake, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Shakib Al Hasan, Wriddhiman Saha, Martin Guptill, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem.

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Anmolpreet Singh, Siddhesh Lad, Ankul Roy, Evin Lewis, Pankaj Jaiswal, Ben Cutting, Ishan Kishan, Aditya Tare, Rasikh Salam, Barinder Sran, Jayant Yadav, Beuran Hendricks.

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