Defending champions Mumbai Indians and David Warner's Sunrisers Hyderabad will face off in what promises to be another run-fest in Match 17 of IPL 2020 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
MI have endured a mixed bag of results so far, with two wins and two losses from four matches, but they will come into this game brimming with confidence after a massive 48-run win against the Rajasthan Royals.
The Sunrisers, too, have done well in recent times, putting an end to their run of back-to-back losses from their first two games to bounce back with a couple of wins. Although the Chennai Super Kings did run them close in their most recent encounter, a 7-run win will hold them in good stead ahead of today's Mumbai v Hyderabad clash.
The IPL 2020 matches at Sharjah have produced some of the best games this season, and with two in-form units heading into this game, we could be in for a cracker.
IPL 2020: MI v SRH Match Prediction
There's nothing to separate the two sides in terms of head-to-head records, but if squad composition was brought forward for discussion, Rohit Sharma's MI have the upper hand.
While Quinton de Kock is yet to bring his best to the fore, Rohit already has two half-centuries to his name and is looking in solid form. The inclusion of Ishan Kishan in the middle order has also been fruitful, with the southpaw notching up 127 runs in two matches, including a 99 against RCB.
Kieron Pollard's form lower down the order has been one of MI's biggest driving forces this season, with the big West Indian notching up 138 runs from four games at a whopping strike rate of 212.30.
Add to that the might and dominating factor of Hardik Pandya's big-hitting, and the MI batting unit looks in great shape to send the ball soaring over the short boundaries at Sharjah.
As for SRH's batting, the top order wears a solid look with Jonny Bairstow, David Warner, Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey forming the top 4. But, while Bairstow and Pandey have a combined total of three fifties in IPL 2020, they haven't really managed to up the ante when required.
Warner, on the other hand, has made a few starts in this season but is yet to convert them into a big knock. With a solid MI bowling attack coming up against them, it will be an interesting prospect to see if the young duo of Priyam Garg and Abhishek Sharma produce eye-catching performances again today.
The biggest worry for SRH, though, would be Bhuvneshwar Kumar's fitness. The seamer hobbled off the ground after bowling just the first ball of his last over against CSK, and SRH will undoubtedly be sweating over his fitness.
If Bhuvneshwar does miss out, it will compound the pressure on Rashid Khan. And, with the likes of Pollard and Pandya smashing spinners all over the park, Warner might need to execute his plans of using Rashid's four overs to perfection.
However, what's interesting to note is that the spinners have had absolutely nothing to play for at Sharjah, and SRH might need to find a way to get the most out of Abdul Samad and Abhishek Sharma.
In terms of overall balance, MI have the advantage over SRH, and one could safely tip the scales in favour of the defending champions to win this game.
Prediction: MI to win today.Published 04 Oct 2020, 10:22 IST