Defending champions Mumbai Indians will come up against Sunrisers Hyderabad in game 17 of IPL 2020, which will be a day game, at Sharjah on Sunday.
Both sides will go in having tasted success in their most recent encounters. While Mumbai defeated Kings XI Punjab courtesy a good all-round effort, Hyderabad added to Chennai Super Kings’ misery by handing them a seven-run loss.
The contest against Punjab saw some very good performances from Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard with the bat, but they would want more runs out of opener Quinton de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav. The return to form of Jasprit Bumrah will also be a welcome relief for Mumbai.
Sunrisers Hyderabad did well to recover from 69 for 4 against Chennai. Still, they would like Manish Pandey to display better consistency. The injury to strike bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar is also a cause for concern. As MI and SRH get into tussle mode, we analyse three potential player battles that could significantly impact the game.
#1. David Warner vs Jasprit Bumrah
A contest within a contest! SRH captain David Warner may not have set the tournament on fire yet, but he has given hints of the fact that he is getting there. In the last three matches, he has registered scores of 36, 45 and 28. Rather surprisingly, the Warner of IPL 2020 has been a subdued version of himself.
He has been prepared to grind it out, and run hard between the wickets. Against Mumbai though, he must look to unsettle Jasprit Bumrah for it will give SRH a significant advantage.
Bumrah, meanwhile, will be bolstered by his performance in the win against KXIP. The delivery he bowled to get rid of Mayank Agarwal was of the highest quality. He will be keen to keep improving from here on.
The challenge for Bumrah though is that batsmen are now willing to take him on and have succeeded as well. Warner would be well aware of this development. And hence, how he tackles Bumrah could make for fascinating viewing.
#2. Kieron Pollard vs Rashid Khan
The bulky Mumbai batsman has been on an astonishing six-hitting spree across the last two games. He slammed an unbeaten 60 from 24 with five sixes to lift Mumbai into a Super Over against RCB out of nowhere, where they eventually came second.
His smashing efforts though bore fruit in the match against KXIP as he raced away to an unbeaten 47 from 20 deliveries, this time with four maximums. Having put up an exhibition of big hitting in the last two games, Pollard will go into the match against SRH with his tail up.
The 33-year-old West Indian slammed off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham for three consecutive sixes in the last game, but would have his task cut out against Rashid Khan. The leg-spinner has been at the top of his game in the last two matches, with exceptional figures of 3 for 14 and 0 for 12.
He has literally given nothing away. Khan might come across Pollard in the middle and end overs, where he will have no option but to attack Khan. Whether he succeeds remains the bigger question.
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#3. Kane Williamson vs Rahul Chahar
SRH have been a completely different outfit since Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson has come into the playing eleven. His knock of 41 from 26 deliveries against Delhi, in a sense, turned around SRH’s fortunes.
Before that, Hyderabad just could not find any stability in the middle order. And even though one saw the angry side of Williamson following the ugly mix-up with Priyam Garg, the fact is Williamson’s mere presence in the playing squad makes a lot of difference. He brings in a kind of assurance few others can.
Young MI leg-spinner Rahul Chahar is leaving his stamp on IPL 2020 in no uncertain terms. In four matches, he has already claimed six wickets at a strike rate of 16 and an economy rate of under eight. More than the numbers, it has been young Chahar’s attitude that has stood out.
His shoulders have not dropped when he has been hit for boundaries in this IPL. On the contrary, he has displayed immense confidence in his ability and has fought back. As such, he would be charged up for a tussle with the gifted Williamson.Published 04 Oct 2020, 13:14 IST