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IPL-2024:  SunRisers Hyderabad to take on Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai: MI opt to bowl

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In  IPL cricket, Mumbai Indians will face Sunrisers Hyderabad at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai this evening. Five-time winners Mumbai Indians are lying at the bottom of the points table, whereas Sunrisers Hyderabad are at the fourth spot. Mumbai Indians have won the toss and have opted to field.

Bhvneshwar Kumar has been going at more than 13 an over in the death overs. It was largely due to a stroke of luck that Rovman Powell missed a full toss to hand SunRisers Hyderabad a one-run victory in the SRH’s previous game. The win underscores the unpredictability or, as they say, the funny nature of the Twenty20 format. The Royals needed 12 runs off the last over, and two off the last ball.

That win may have put their campaign back on the rails. Still, SRH have been one of the standout sides this season with their explosive openers – Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma – setting the stage on fire and fast bowling unit, led by Pat Cummins, working like an optimally functioning apparatus. The best feature yet has been the inspiring captaincy of Cummins, who has managed to handle the young Indian players efficiently.

A rare vulnerability for the Hyderabad side, as it’s been observed, is their lack of a Plan B, rather contingencies. They normally rely heavily on aggressive batting, particularly through their openers. And in instances where this approach doesn’t produce the expected yields, they’ve struggled to adapt and recalibrate their gameplan. Spin bowling has emerged as another notable weakness, despite the presence of legend Muttiah Muralitharan in the coaching staff. As they prepare to face Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede on Monday evening, these are areas the home team look to exploit.The Wankhede Stadium has traditionally been a high-scoring pitch, except for the recent exception seen in the last game, versus Kolkata Knight Riders. It wouldn’t be surprising if Monday’s match turns into a run-fest, reminiscent of their season’s initial encounter in Hyderabad where Mumbai Indians had mounted a strong assault on SRH total and had come close to chasing down the record-breaking total of 278.

For Mumbai Indians, their openers have struggled to survive the PowerPlay overs in numerous games. Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan have been dismissed early too often, with Rohit falling six times and Ishan seven times within the first six overs. This inconsistency might be one of the key factors to their underwhelming performance this season. They may face a stronger challenge from SRH pacers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pat Cummins, T Natarajan, Jaydev Unadkat and Marco Jansen, who have all been in good nick. How the MI openers, mainly Rohit, handle the quality SRH pacers will be a point of interest from MI point of view and Indian point of view as well.

For SRH, this match holds significant importance in their quest to qualify for the playoffs. Currently standing within striking distance with 12 points from 10 games, they require at least two more victories in their remaining four matches. As for MI, with their playoff chances now virtually over, the big question is whether they will opt to rest Jasprit Bumrah, arguably the standout bowler of this IPL season.

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