yet so far. This could be the phrase either Mumbai Indians (MI) or Sunrisers
Hyderabad (SRH) will be thinking about if they were to falter at the final
hurdle ahead of the playoff. With Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Delhi Capitals
(DC) assured of a berth in the playoff, it is now down to the other teams to
occupy the other two spots. After Tuesday’s washout, we now certainly know that
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) now have no chance of making it to the top 4,
but the other teams are still very much in with a shout. None of them have a
better chance of progressing at the moment, barring SRH and MI, which makes
this contest all the more exciting.
With 692 runs from 12 innings, David Warner’s departure leaves a huge hole in SRH’s batting line-up. With him and also Bairstow gone, SRH will once again have a new opening partnership, but perhaps not be as prolific as the Warner-Bairstow partnership was. Till Bairstow departed, the duo had added 791 runs for the first wicket. To put things into perspective, when Bairstow and Warner opened the innings, their first wicket partnership accounted for more than 50% of the team’s runs, which is staggering.
Finishing in the top two too has its own perks and as things stand, things are still uncertain as to who will occupy those slots. If DC win their two remaining matches, they remain top at the end of the group stages, regardless of how things go in the other matches, but CSK, MI and SRH have a chance of finishing in the second place – making it a three-horse race.
Win toss and…?
At Wankhede, the captains winning the toss have always chosen to bowl. Their teams have lost two and won three, which makes it a little trickier to take a call at the toss. However, given that the last three times the team chasing has won, we might once again see the captain winning the toss deciding to field first.
Out of the 50 matches so far, the team chasing has won 27 times, while the team defending has won 21 matches (excluding the Super over finish and the abandoned match). However, if we take a look at the batting run-rate of each venue this season, most of the grounds, including Wankhede has a higher run-rate in the first innings, compared to the second, giving an impression that it is a better bet to bat first, but that has not been the case so far in most matches.
2019, only six times has a team winning the toss batted first and they have
tasted victory only twice – both was at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi.
Wankhede is yet another high-scoring venue and has the second highest economy rate among all the venues, after Eden Gardens, and we can expect yet another run-feast in this match. Mumbai has also seen the second highest boundary % after Kolkata. A look at the top 5 venues with highest economy rates:
Who has the upper hand?
Toss will play a crucial role in this match as well, but across the phases of play, it is MI, who are behind SRH in every relevant factor. In the powerplays, MI have the second worst strike-rate behind KXIP and have also taken the second lowest wickets, once again, behind KXIP. When it comes to economy rates, SRH has best (7.12) in this phase.
It is in the middle phase that MI have done well and perhaps clawed their way back into the game. They have the joint second-best strike-rate, but also have a one of the highest economy rates between overs 7 to 15. However, SRH have the second lowest economy rate in overs 7 to 15, behind CSK (6.65).
At the death, both SRH and MI have managed to choke the opposition by not allowing the batsmen to score at will. The two teams have the highest dot ball % this season. However, SRH have been more successful in keeping the runs down, compared to MI, which is the most crucial aspect in the final phase.
Rohit vs Sandeep: The battle of the Sharmas – Rohit and Sandeep – have had interesting battles in the past and going by numbers, it is Sandeep, who has gotten the better of the MI captain. Rohit has scored just 29 runs from 33 deliveries he has faced from Sandeep and has been dismissed twice. Since last removing Rohit in 2016, the MI opener has scored 18 off 22 deliveries. This will once again be an absorbing contest.
Pollard vs Bhuvi: Bhuvneshwar Kumar has not had the best of IPLs in the last couple of seasons, yet is an integral part of this SRH bowling attack. Against Kieron Pollard, in the five matches he has come head-to-head with him, Bhuvi has dismissed him every 6.3 deliveries. But the big Trinidadian has been successful in going big against SRH’s lead pacer, scoring at a strike-rate of 147.36.
MI might bring in Ishan Kishan or Anukul Roy in place of Barinder Sran depending on whether they need an extra batsman or bowler. Other than that, they do not need to make any major changes.
MI: Lasith Malinga, Rohit Sharma (c), Kieron Pollard, Suryakumar Yadav, Quinton de Kock (wk), Evin Lewis, Ishan Kishan/Anukul Roy, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar
SRH on the other end have no option but to make at least one change. Martin Guptill could play his first game of the season and SRH hopes he can pick up from where Warner left off.
SRH: Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Martin Guptill, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Kane Williamson (c), Vijay Shankar, Sandeep Sharma, Rashid Khan, Khaleel Ahmed, Abhishek Sharma