Both Mumbai Indians (MI) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have had a mixed start to the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) – each have two wins and as many losses from four matches so far. The two sides are coming into this game on the back of victories and will be keen to keep that momentum going.
While the teams cannot be separated when we consider their overall head-to-head record, SRH have a slight edge when it comes to the last five encounters – winning three of those matches. But MI did win both the games between these two sides last season.
Overall: Matches – 14 | MI – 7 Wins | SRH – 7 Wins
Last 5 Matches: MI – 2 Wins | SRH – 3 Wins
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
This will be the fourth match of the season at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium and it will be the first time either of these two teams play here in IPL 2020.
Sharjah has been, by a distance, the most batting-friendly stadium in the IPL this season. In the three matches held here so far, every innings has seen a 200+ total. Last Sunday (September 27), Rajasthan Royals managed to chase down 224 – a record for the highest successful run-chase in IPL history – against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at this ground. With its short boundaries, this stadium is ideal for six-hitting, with 90 maximums hit in three matches so far.
Among the three stadiums hosting matches in the IPL this season, Sharjah has been the best ground for batting since 2018 too – the batting average (24.7) and run-rate (8.2) in T20 cricket during the aforementioned period in Sharjah is higher than it is in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
From a bowling perspective, a strike rate of 18 since 2018 isn’t bad, but in this season’s three matches, that rate is at 21.7.
In the three matches at Sharjah in IPL 2020 thus far, pacers have picked up 24 wickets while spinners have taken eight (five out of the eight came in the first match). Both pace and spin have been expensive at this stadium this season, with economy rates of 10.8 each.
Since 2018, pacers have been more expensive but have enjoyed a better strike rate (17.9 vs 22) here compared to spinners in T20 cricket. During the same period, the quicker bowlers have bowled over 60% of the overs and taken just under two-thirds of the wickets to fall in Sharjah.
Going by the above-mentioned stats, pacers seem to have a better chance of taking wickets than spinners.
Considering the conditions that we have seen until now in Sharjah this season, we have gone with a batting-heavy team. Hence, we did not have enough credits to pick Rashid Khan or Jasprit Bumrah. If you want to select them, then you might need to do some chopping and changing.
There could be a few interesting match-ups too.
It’s not often that Quinton de Kock goes three matches without making huge contributions with the bat as he has now. Against KXIP, he was dismissed in the first over of the innings and will be hoping to not face the same fate again. In this match, he is likely to be up against Bhuvneshwar Kumar (if fit) first up – a bowler against whom he has a subpar strike rate in T20 cricket.
In IPL 2020, Kieron Pollard has a barely believable strike rate of 272.7 against spin. But previously, he hasn’t had all his own way against Rashid Khan who is the No.1-ranked T20I bowler in the world. Pollard has faced 67 deliveries from Rashid in T20 cricket and has scored less than a run-a-ball.
Among all bowling-types in the IPL, David Warner averages the least against left-arm pace (30.6 is far from poor though). In this game, Warner will come up against Trent Boult at the start of SRH’s innings. The MI left-arm pacer has dismissed the SRH skipper once so far and has managed to keep the scoring rate down in T20 cricket.
Not many can boast of having a great record against Jasprit Bumrah in T20 cricket. In that minute list of batsmen who can is Manish Pandey. The SRH batsman has a strike rate of over 200 against Bumrah and hasn’t been dismissed by the MI pacer in the 20-over format yet.
David Warner has been Mr. Consistent in the IPL over the years. In IPL 2020, he has scored 115 runs in three matches so far. While that’s not prolific, that’s a decent start with three 25+ scores in four innings. In the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore where he was dismissed for a low score, it was because of an unfortunate run-out at the non-striker’s end. No batsman has scored more runs than Warner (3386) in the IPL since he joined SRH in 2014.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Warner could score 16-39 runs in this match.
Kieron Pollard has been in tremendous form this calendar year. In 2020, he has an average of 58.6 and a strike rate of 209.2 in T20 cricket which are some phenomenal numbers. He’s been superb in IPL 2020 so far as well, scoring 138 runs while being dismissed just once in four innings. He was the Player of the Match in MI’s win over KXIP. If he bowls, that could be an added bonus.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Pollard could score 11-28 runs in this match.
Jonny Bairstow has already made two half-centuries from four innings so far this season. In this match, he will be expected to surely play a different type of innings compared to the one he played against Delhi Capitals. Against the Capitals, he dug in and relied on scoring heavily via running rather than boundaries. In Sharjah, fours and sixes are surely going to be easier to attain and we’ve seen how good he is at playing the big shots in recent years.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Bairstow could score 13-36 runs in this match.
Two-time IPL-winning captain Gautam Gambhir has gone with Jonny Bairstow as his captain for this game.
As mentioned earlier, with the conditions in Sharjah likely to favour batting, we have gone with batting-heavy picks. Rohit Sharma is our third x-factor because if he gets a start in Sharjah, then he could really make a big score – something, we all know he is well capable of. So far this season, Rohit has made two match-winning scores (80 vs Kolkata Knight Riders and 70 vs KXIP) in four innings.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Rohit could score 14-37 runs in this match.
(Image Courtesy - BCCI)