To wrap up the league stage of the on-going IPL 2020 and add two much-needed points under their belt, David Warner-led SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) are set to lock horns with defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) at an exciting venue-- Sharjah. The final league-stage game will clear the clouds over four teams who've managed to book a playoffs berth amid the nail-biting tussle this season.
The Hyderabad side, currently sitting on the fifth position in the points table, has a glaring opportunity to thump the defending champions and make it into the top-four list. Their healthy net run-rate (+0.555) will be beneficial for achieving a place in the knockouts.
By replacing Jonny Bairstow with Wriddhiman Saha at the top, the Orange Army have found a rhythm in their last two games. Having registered victories against Delhi Capitals (DC) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Warner's men will come out all guns blazing to clinch the final opportunity to qualify for playoffs.
Saha has delivered in both his previous games while Jason Holder has put up impressive all-round performances lately. With Saha-Warner duo and Manish Pandey in their arsenal, SRH will be eyeing a strong start against MI. Hyderabad's bowling unit has also stepped up as the tournament has progressed. Sandeep Sharma and T. Natarajan have been impressive and economical with the ball while Rashid Khan has been lethal with his variations.
Sunrisers also know there is little scope for error against a formidable outfit like Mumbai Indians, who seem to be on course for an unprecedented fifth IPL title.
In the absence of injured skipper Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians steamrolled RCB and Delhi Capitals in their previous encounters, becoming the first team to qualify for the play-offs. Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah have looked menacing with the swinging new ball and ever so frugal with the old. Kieron Pollard has been impressive with his captaincy in Rohit's absence.
With Indian team not picking Rohit for the Australia tour, there is no official update on his recovery from a hamstring injury he suffered two weeks ago. "Rohit is getting better and hopefully he'll be back soon," Pollard had said after the match against DC without elaborating on Rohit's fitness status.
Already assured of the top spot in the points table, Mumbai Indians will be expected to put up another ruthless show against SunRisers. The nature of the surface in Sharjah has changed drastically with low-scores replacing 200-plus totals, which was the norm at the start of the tournament.
In Saturday's game, RCB could only manage 120 against SunRisers who chased down the target in just 14.1 overs. CSK were limited to 114 for nine by Mumbai Indians on October 23. Again, the chasing team got the job done rather comfortably.
SunRisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson, David Warner (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Priyam Garg, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Virat Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Basil Thampi, Abhishek Sharma, Billy Stanlake, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, K Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan, Mitchell Marsh, Bavanaka Sandeep, Fabian Allen, Abdul Samad, Sanjay Yadav, Rashid Khan
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Digvijay Deshmukh, Aditya Tare (wk), Saurabh Tiwary, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Rahul Chahar, Chris Lynn, Hardik Pandya, Sherfane Rutherford, Anmolpreet Singh, Mohsin Khan, Mitchell McClenaghan, Prince Balwant Rai, Anukul Roy, Ishan Kishan, Dhawal Kulkarni, Trent Boult, Jayant Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson.
The match starts at 7:30 IST.
(With PTI inputs)