Languishing at the bottom of the table, defending champion Mumbai Indians will be desperate to end its winless streak in its final match of the first leg of IPL-7 in the UAE when it takes on another struggling outfit, Sunrisers Hyderabad, here on Wednesday.
Placed last in the eight-team league having lost all four of its matches, the title holder will not get a better chance of opening its account than taking on a lowly SRH, which is just a shade better with only a win and three losses.
Mumbai’s batting has come a cropper till now. Despite some big names in its ranks, it has managed just a few fine knocks.
The likes of skipper Rohit Sharma, Mike Hussey, Corey Anderson and Kieron Pollard have failed to fire in unison.
Ambati Rayadu has shown glimpses of his talent, but none were match-winning efforts.
Come Wednesday, Mumbai will need all these hard-hitting batsmen to contribute if it wants to end its drought in the desert.
As far as bowling is concerned, veterans Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh will need to bring in all their experience to effect a turnaround.
Although mercurial speedster Lasith Malinga has been both economical and amongst the wickets, he has fallen short of his ability to run through any batting line-up. Mumbai will require its bowling spearhead to rise to the occasion.
Besides, the team will also expect Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan’s spin partner, Anderson and Pollard to fire as a unit.
SRH has seen just two batsmen, Aaron Finch and David Warner, making a mark so far. While the team will bank heavily on Finch and Warner yet again, it is time that skipper and opener Shikhar Dhawan demonstrates his batting prowess.
The middle-order, with the likes of Lokesh Rahul, Venugopala Rao and Darren Sammy, also need to play key roles.
The bowlers haven’t done too badly till now.
Bowling spearhead Dale Steyn and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been pretty consistent, while leg-spinners Amit Mishra and Karn Sharma have also been decent. But the bowlers would need their batsmen to put up substantial runs on the board, so that they have something to defend against one of the better batting line-ups in the IPL.