Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard during an 2021 IPL match against the Chennai Super Kings (Image: Twitter/@IPL, BCCI)
Back in the groove after two consecutive wins, defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) will be firm favourites to put it past the turbulence-hit and bottom-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) game in Delhi on May 5.
Mumbai will enter the game after their four-wicket win over in-form Chennai Super Kings courtesy Kieron Pollard's blitzkrieg.
Sunrisers, in contrast, suffered a humiliating 55-run loss to Rajasthan Royals, their sixth in seven games this season. They are also battling a transitional phase in which Kane Williamson has taken over captaincy from an out of form David Warner, leaving him disappointed. Mumbai openers Rohit Sharma (250 runs) and Quinton De Kock (155 runs) would be itching to give the five-time champions another strong platform and also convert their starts into big scores.
Mumbai's hard-hitting middle-order has clicked in the last two games, which would be quite pleasing for the team management. Pollard (168 runs), who blazed his way to a match-winning 87 off 34 balls in the last game, would be keen to continue from where he left. The likes of Krunal Pandya (100 runs), Hardik Pandya (52 runs) and the flamboyant Suryakumar Yadav (173 runs) can be destructive on their day and the trio would be aiming to fire in unison.
Also, it remains to be seen if Mumbai plays Ishan Kishan or Jayant Yadav in place of all-rounder James Neesham, who neither scored big nor was able to pick up wickets. However, the Mumbai bowlers would need to forget the hammering received at the hands of the CSK batsmen and start afresh.
The pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah (6 wickets) and Trent Boult (8 wickets) have been exceptional at the death and would pose a big threat to the SRH batting unit, which has been inconsistent at best. Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar (11 wickets) has been the MI's main wicket-taker, but he would need support from Krunal, who has just three scalps.
The duo would need to keep things tight to contain the SRH batters. Pollard, also picked up two important wickets in the last game and can fill in the role of fifth or sixth bowler.
However, there are problems aplenty for SRH. They are over-reliant on their top-order, especially Jonny Bairstow (248 runs), but their middle-order has faltered most often.
Against RR, they dropped Warner and opened with Manish Pandey and Jonny Bairstow, with Williamson coming in at three. If they persist with the same line-up, the three need to fire on all cylinders. Also, the likes of Vijay Shankar (58 runs), Kedar Jadhav (40 runs), Abdul Samad (36 runs) and Mohammed Nabi (31 runs), if he plays, will have to get some runs for the side to have any chance of building a momentum.
On the bowling front, star leg-spinner Rashid Khan has been the pick of the bowlers with 10 wickets but pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3 wickets) and Khaleel Ahmed (4 wickets) would need to find their form too. It remains to be seen if Sandeep Sharma plays again or makes way for Siddharth Kaul.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Adam Milne, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Arjun Tendulkar, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, James Neesham, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Marco Jansen, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, Quinton De Kock (WK), Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwary, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult and Yudhvir Singh
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (Captain), David Warner, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Manish Pandey, Sreevats Goswami, Wriddhiman Saha, Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, Virat Singh, Jason Holder, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul, Basil Thampi, Jagadeesha Suchith, Kedar Jadhav and Mujeeb-ur-Rahman
This match starts at 7.30 pm IST.Follow Moneycontrol’s full coverage of IPL 2021 here