IPL 2017 Player Battles: Top 4 player encounters to look for in the Mumbai Indians-Sunrisers Hyderabad match
Have a glance at some enticing battles within the main battle between SRH and MI.
Mumbai Indians clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad, the team to beat in this edition of the IPL. Both teams come into the game with wins in their previous game but Mumbai had lost their first game of the tournament, unlike the Hyderabad franchise which is unbeaten in its two games thus far.
Batting has been a key feature for both these sides. While Sunrisers boast of some real power hitters in their line-up, Mumbai themselves aren't short on batting firepower. Jos Buttler opening the innings has added a different dimension to their powerplay batting while David Warner is a threat for Hyderabad at the top.
The outrageous Yuvraj Singh in the tournament opener and the consistent Moises Henriques add huge value to their arsenal. Ben Cutting and Deepak Hooda are there for the back end slog while Naman Ojha is their security batsman if the top order fails.
Mumbai, on the other hand, have Rohit Sharma, who is yet to click in the tournament coming behind Parthiv Patel, Jos Buttler and the new no.3, Nitish Rana. The top order looks settled and itching to fire although they are yet to do so in unison. Kieron Pollard and the Pandya brothers complete a powerful lower order. Harbhajan Singh can also wield the long handle.
In the bowling front, there is no team to match the Sunrisers Hyderabad. They boast of some of the best in the business in Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan. Ashish Nehra, Ben Cutting and Moises Henriques complete their bowling attack.
Mumbai, meanwhile, have Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah, two yorker specialists who make death batting a nightmare for the opposition. Krunal Pandya and Hardik Pandya can chip in with their variations in the middle overs while Harbhajan's job is to check the scoring rate. Pollard showed that he may not be the right man to go to in crisis situations. Mumbai also have Mitchell McCleneghan, a wicket taking option upfront.
Here we take a look at four player battles to watch out for in this keenly awaited encounter at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
#4 Lasith Malinga vs David Warner
David Warner brushed aside his poor form with an unbeaten 76 in the game against Gujarat Lions in Hyderabad a few days ago. The Australian opener will be a key wicket for Mumbai in a usually high-scoring venue. If Warner stays beyond the powerplay, Mumbai will know that they are in danger.
This makes Lasith Malinga's opening spell to the southpaw important. The Sri Lankan entered the IPL on the back of a hat-trick against Bangladesh in a T20 last week. He got his yorkers on target in the last game against Kolkata and is slowly returning to his best.
However, in Warner, he has a strong T20 player with his confidence swelled after a fifty in the last game. Warner's outrageous run in IPL 2016 will be in the back of the minds of every opposition. If Malinga can get Warner early, half the battle is won. The Sunrisers middle-order does not boast of consistent scores and the early wicket of Warner can add a lot of pressure.