Mumbai Indians returned to winning ways after the side registered a dominant win over Kings XI Punjab on Thursday, and will aim to keep the momentum when they take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the first match of Sunday's double-header. The SRH had a poor start to the tournament with two successive losses, but have since made a strong comeback with victories over Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings.
However, SRH faced a late blow during their win against CSK with Bhuvneshwar Kumar picking up an injury. He walked off with a seeming hamstring problem as he failed with his run-up thrice. In his absence, Khaleel Ahmed and Thangarasu Natarajan will shoulder added responsibility, with one of Sandeep Sharma, Basil Thampi or Siddarth Kaul likely to make an appearance.
Bhuvneshwar's absence will benefit Mumbai Indians in Sharjah, which has been a batting paradise in this tournament so far. The boundaries are much shorter here than those in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and MI will aim to pounce on the opportunity.
Rohit Sharma returned to run-scoring against KXIP, as he scored 70 off 45 deliveries to set the platform for MI finishers, Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya to end the innings on a high. Pollard has remained in good touch in the past few matches, remaining unbeaten on 60 (24 balls) and 47 (20 balls) in his last two matches.
Pandya, too, had a positive outing against KXIP with an 11-ball 30. Given the abilities and power of Hardik and Pollard, both can rip apart the SRH bowling especially at Sharjah, where even the outside edges fly into the stands.
Young Kishan has been the find for MI, after his blistering yet responsible knock against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Mumbai are unlikely to make any changes to their bowling combination, with all their bowlers putting up a splendid show against Kings XI Punjab.
SRH will also take a lot of confidence from their seven-run win over CSK, where all their youngsters delivered after the big guns failed to fire. The team management would be hoping that skipper David Warner, Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey are among the runs again.
Kane Williamson also is a certainty in the playing XI, given his ability to take the innings deep and hold one end up. If the seniors fire, that will reduce the pressure on young guns Abhishek Sharma, Priyam Garg and Abdul Samad.
But if Bhuvneshwar misses out, that would mean more pressure on yorker specialist T Natarajan, left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed and star spinner Rashid Khan.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (capt), Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, James Pattison, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Prince Balwant Rai, Quinton De Kock, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwary, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (capt), Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Shreevats Goswami, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Wriddhiman Saha, Abdul Samad, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Jason Holder, Abhishek Sharma, B Sandeep, Sanjay Yadav, Fabian Allen, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Siddharth Kaul, Billy Stanlake, T Natarajan, Basil Thampi.