Red-hot Mumbai Indians takes on Sunrisers Hyderabad

The onus will be on Sunrisers’ captain David Warner to dig out all his batting capabilities and help deliver a much-needed win for his side on Monday.

It will be interesting to see whether Ashish Nehra makes way for Mohd. Siraj or an all-rounder who can wield the willow is preferred in this must-win game for Sunrisers.   -  K. R. Deepak

Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians, on a high after the record-breaking win over Delhi Daredevils on Saturday, takes on defending champions, Sunrisers Hyderabad, sulking after its first defeat at home, also on Saturday, at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Monday.

The loss against Rising Pune Supergiant in the previous game could well be the perfect wake-up call for Sunrisers to address some areas of concern. The home team’s hunt for a slot in the play-offs will once again hinge on the form of captain David Warner. He is lead scorer (529 runs) and also has a strike-rate of 126. And, if Sunrisers is to have a chance to win on Monday, the flamboyant Warner has to dig out all his batting qualities once again to play a key role.

It is quite apparent that Sunrisers looks to Warner not just to set the ball rolling, literally, with early burst of aggression, but to stay there and finish off the game and not leave the job for others if the way his team lost from a winning position against Rising Pune Supergiant was any reminder.

Ironically, for a team which looked vulnerable with regard to its fifth bowler, Sunrisers did remarkably well to restrict Supergiant to a modest total on a difficult pitch, and if the bowling attack comprising pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddharth Kaul and spinners Rashid Khan and Bipul Sharma repeat its impressive showing, the onus will be on batsmen who must convert good starts into big scores to give the team a winning chance.

It will be interesting to see whether left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra (who walked off the field after bowling 1.1 overs against RPS) makes way for Mohd. Siraj or an all-rounder who can wield the willow is preferred in this must-win game for Sunrisers.

Winning spree

On the other hand, nothing seems to be going wrong for Mumbai Indians. Opener Lendl Simmons, capitalising on the chance he got in the last game forms a formidable pair with Parthiv Patel to be followed by the big guns like Kieron Pollard, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, and Nitesh Rana to follow.

Placed at the top of the table with 18 points in 11 games and assured of a play-offs berth, Mumbai will be keen to script another win to keep the momentum going while Sunrisers will have to win this game and the next one against Gujarat Lions to be in contention for a spot in the playoffs.

Clearly, Mumbai goes into the match as favourite; it has a bowling line-up comprising of the consistent pace trio of Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah backed by the spin duo of Harbhajan Singh and Karn Sharma, who are capable of testing the best of the batsmen on any pitch.

But, Sunrisers with 13 points in 12 games, should be determined to show that they are no pushovers and hungry to regain the winning momentum.

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