After having tasted a bitter defeat in their opening game against the Chennai Super Kings in the season opener of the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League, Mumbai Indians are now up against the Kane Williamson led Sunrisers Hyderabad; who had a near-perfect game in their first match against the Rajasthan Royals. In Match 1 CSK, riding on some last moment heroics from Dwayne Bravo; snatched victory from MI’s jaws and beat them by one-wicket. SRH, on the other hand, had a good outing with both and ball as they won by 9-wickets.

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At Wankhede however, Mumbai Indians were in control of the match for a greater part of the game; having reduced CSK to 118/8 in the 17th over, with 48 required off 21. It was then that Dwayne Bravo’s innings really took off, smashing 20 runs in the next two overs of Mitchell McClenaghan and Jasprit Bumrah. Young Mayank Markande led the attack taking three wickets for just 23 runs off his quota of 4 overs.  But the problem for MI was the inconsistency in their lengths at the death overs with the likes of Mustafizur Rahman and Bumrah being tonked for sixes.  The batting department, however, looks pretty strong, with the middle order resting on the responsible shoulders of youngsters Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, the Pandya brothers and Kieron Pollard. Hardik Pandya’s fitness might just be a concern for the management after the all-rounder limped off the field in the first innings, but came back strongly to pick 3 wickets for just 24 runs. The challenge for Mumbai, however, will be against the variety in the bowling lineup of SRH.

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The pace department led by the ever-so-accurate  Bhuvneshwar Kumar includes the pace and bounce of the 6’8”tall Billy Stanlake and the guile of Siddarth Kaul, who for me, was the man of the match in the last game, returning with figures of 2/17 in 4 overs. Supporting the fast bowlers, is the craftiness of Rashid Khan blended with the experience of Shakib Al-Hasan. The bowlers had an excellent day in the field restricting Rajasthan to a below par total of 125 for the loss of 9 wickets. Complementing this performance was SRH’s exceptional fielding who saved at least 10-15 runs; led by Captain Williamson who first ran out D’Arcy Short and then took an excellent catch of Ben Stokes.  SRH chased down the target in the 16th over with 9 wickets in hand, as Shikhar Dhawan scored a breezy  78 and the skipper chipping in with a 36 not out. The only casualty being opener Wriddhiman Saha, who perished in an attempt to score some quick runs.  Going into the match, SRH will look to continue the momentum and collect some important points in the early leg of the tournament.

On the eve of the match, Mumbai underwent two training sessions leading into the clash, one in the afternoon and one under lights. Sunrisers’ batsmen spent some time in the nets, while the bowlers were involved in grueling drills of fielding and catching practice throughout the evening.

WHEN: Thursday, April 12; 20:00 IST
WHERE: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
WHAT TO EXPECT: A hot day with temperatures rising to 36 degrees in the day. An evening game will mean respite from that heat, but a hot day nevertheless with rain expected to stay away.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: SRH 5 – 5 MI – Both teams stack equally when it comes to head-to-head stats so far in the competition, but it is at Hyderabad that the hosts lead Mumbai 3-2.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Hyderabad have no reason to make any changes to their line-up, but coach Tom Moody conceded that they were considering a couple of options. Hales was being fed balls on one of the training wickets from coach Moody where he had to adapt and adjust in order to clear the ropes, which he did consistently. Moody also stressed on their faith in Saha at the top of the order, which means Saha will continue to open alongside Shikhar with Hales coming in lower down the order if given the chance. Carlos Brathwaite and Mohammad Nabi too were in the middle facing deliveries from Moody. If one of them is drafted in, it would be at the cost of Billy Stanlake.
Probable XI: Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib al Hasan, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Billy Stanlake, Siddarth Kaul.
Mumbai Indians: After having sat out of Mumbai’s opening encounter against CSK, Pat Cummins was ruled out of the IPL with a back injury. Mumbai will persist with their four pacemen on the Hyderabad wicket which will assist seamers. Hardik Pandya was a notable absentee from both of Mumbai’s training sessions ahead of the clash after the ankle injury he picked up against Chennai. If he is forced to sit out, Saurabh Tiwary may be drafted in.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Evin Lewis, Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya/Saurabh Tiwary, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mayank Markande, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mustafizur Rahman, Jasprit Bumrah.