As far as the 2019 season of the IPL goes, the Sunrisers Hyderabad have had perhaps the ideal start to their season. The franchise has won three of their four matches this year already, with their only loss: their opening match, a narrow one.
The Sunrisers’ biggest strength in the 2019 season has been their openers and their top order. The team scores significantly higher in the powerplay than any other team, going at a staggering 10.16 runs an over from overs 1-6. The team second quickest after them are their rivals Mumbai Indians, who go at a significantly lower 8.33 runs an over in this phase of the innings. The top order has been the Hyderabad franchise’s strongest point this year; of their four matches so far, openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow have set partnerships of 54/0 vs the Kolkata Knight Riders in Kolkata, 69/0 vs the Rajasthan Royals in Hyderabad, 59/0 vs Royal Challengers Bangalore in Hyderabad and 62/0 vs DC in Delhi.
However, what they might want to watch out for is their dependency on the top order firing. Although the Sunrisers go at a decent clip during the middle and death overs, they are slower than their counterparts, and slow to 8.94 runs an over in the middle phase – behind the Kings XI Punjab and the Kolkata Knight Riders, and while they pick up in the death, where they go at 10.17 runs per over, they are still relatively slower in that phase of the innings than other teams, behind the Kings XI Punjab, the Rajasthan Royals and most crucially their rivals for this match, the Mumbai Indians. What this means is that should either Warner or Bairstow fail to fire against Mumbai, Hyderabad will almost certainly face issues.
Where the Sunrisers Hyderabad are strongest is in the opening phase of the innings. The team goes at a significant 10.16 runs an over in the power play, with their rivals today – the Mumbai Indians, going at 8.33 runs per over – the second quickest team in that phase of the innings. Indeed, openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow have put on strong partnerships in each match the Sunrisers have played so far: a 64-run partnership against the Delhi Daredevils, a 185-run partnership against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, a 110-run partnership against the Rajasthan Royals, and most recently 108 runs together against the Chennai Super Kings. Both players have, so far, also gone unbeaten in the powerplay, which means that the key to defeating the Sunrisers could lie in the dismissal of one of their two set batsmen.
The Mumbai Indians, although they have a number of big-name batsmen, have among the highest dot ball percentages in the death – a staggering 50%, with the Sunrisers at 47.5%, Delhi at 43% and the Kings XI Punjab the strongest in that regard, with a 36.4% dot ball percentage. That significantly affects the side’s score upfront, and indeed, they have had quite a drop in their run rate at the powerplay since 2018; last year, Mumbai went at 8.22 runs an over in the powerplay; this year, they go at 7.37. This leaves it to the middle order and on occasion, the tail, to consolidate and finish for Mumbai.
Lasith Malinga’s participation in the entirety of the IPL has once again come into question, with CricTracker reporting that the veteran Sri Lankan cricketer would go back to his country in order to play the domestic One Day competition where he is representing Galle. That means that Mumbai will be short of one of their most experienced pace options. However, since Hyderabad is a flat track, the team will look to bowl Krunal Pandya as the match progresses. Krunal is most economical in the death overs, going at 6.87 runs an over and has a boundary percentage of 9.67 at the death. He will perhaps be the most valuable asset in Mumbai’s bowling arsenal for their match against the Sunrisers.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, Vijay Shankar, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (capt), Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, Mohammad Nabi
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (capt), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Mayank Markande, Alzarri Joseph, Jason Behrendorff, Suryakumar Yadav, Quinton de Kock