Sunrisers Hyderabad produced the right mix of pace and passion to notch its eighth win. The 30-run victory over Kings XI Punjab, fuelled by the pacy Dale Steyn and bustling Darren Sammy, will create a positive mindset in the squad ahead of another away tie facing far superior Mumbai Indians.
The Wankhede stadium wicket is different from Mohali, where the track assisted fast bowlers gain help off the pitch.
MI’s home surface is slower and tougher on strokeplayers who have to generate momentum to power the ball across the field. The ball moves in the air and also grips the surface.
Swing bowlers and spinners can create an impact in far greater proportion to the four overs restriction. Mitchell Johnson continues to be MI’s trump card, rattling batsmen with his natural away swing and startling them with inswing. He has 19 wickets and is climbing up in the race for the Purple Cap.
Mentor Anil Kumble has convinced left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh the benefits of bowling slower at the Wankhede and spinning the ball across the blade. MI’s other bowling options include Lasith Malinga, Nechim Ahmed, Pollard, Dhaval Kulkarni and Munaf Patel.
Taking on bowlers of this calibre demands risk-taking ability and self-confidence. The MI attack is experienced in sticking to a disciplined line and forcing batsmen to chance their arm. Sunrisers’ leg-spinner Amit Mishra enjoys rising to the occasion and the quality of batsmen in the rival dugout is a challenge hard to resist.
Waqar Younis, Sunrisers’ bowling coach, would have worked out a gameplan for Steyn, Sammy, Thisara Perera and Ishant Sharma to make their own adjustments at the Wankhede.
Young Karan Sharma’s nerves will be tested facing the inimitable Sachin Tendulkar, classy Rohit Sharma and destructive Dinesh Karthik.
MI’s foreign batting stars Dwayne Smith, Pollard and Glen Maxwell may struggle in Wankhede conditions where the ball does not come onto the bat.
Tendulkar, Sharma, Karthik and Ambati Rayudu are dangerous and can take the match away from the visitors in one burst of clean-hitting.
With teams in IPL-VI jostling for four play-off berths, approaching each game home or away as must-win matches, Monday’s night game at the noisy Wankhede can result in thrills and spills as pressure gets to performers in both sides.
Sunrisers notched a seven-wicket win earlier at Hyderabad. MI was an unsure group of players then, now is a team so secure at home conditions that no target is beyond reach, any total is defendable.
The Teams (from):
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Ricky Ponting, Abu Nechim, Akshar Patel, Aditya Tare, Aiden Blizzard, Ambati Rayudu, Amitoze Singh, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Harbhajan Singh, Jacob Oram, Jasprit Bumrah, Javed Khan, Jalaj Saxena, James Franklin, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Johnson, Munaf Patel, Nathan Coulter—Nile, Phil Hughes, Pawan Suyal, Pragyan Ojha, Rishi Dhawan, Sachin Tendulkar, Suryakumar Yadav, Sushant Marathe and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kumar Sangakkara, Cameron White, Akshat Reddy, Amit Mishra, Anand Rajan, Ankit Sharma, Ashish Reddy, Biplab Samantray, Cameron White, Chris Lynn, Dale Steyn, Darren Sammy, D B Ravi Teja, G H Vihari, Ishant Sharma, Karan Sharma, Nathan McCullum, Pathiv Patel, Prasant Padmanabhan, Quinton de Cock, Sachin Rana, Shikhar Dhawan, Sudeep Tyagi, T Sargunam, Thisara Perera and Veer Pratap Singh.