Shruti Chopra and Suneer Chowdhary discuss the Indian Premier League game between the Mumbai Indians and the Sunrisers Hyderabad that will be played on Wednesday at the Wankhede Stadium. Have a listen to their analysis and preview.
Mumbai Indians like to cut it fine and they certainly did that against the Knight Riders in an exhilarating win on their home ground, which, I may add, Suneer was a witness to. This is Mumbai’s second home game but it’s against last years champions and currently the unbeaten Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday night.
One victory makes for no momentum, especially not in this format, but surely a team goes into their next game with a lot of confidence knowing they don’t need their big-ticket players to win matches for them?
Momentum counts for very little in this format but yep, when it comes to confidence it is wins like the ones against the Kolkata Knight Riders that help boost it up in pressure situations. Mumbai will believe they can come back from having their backs to the wall thanks to the likes of Nitish Rana and the Pandya brothers, even if the likes of Jos Buttler, Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard have been dismissed, which augurs really well for the side going into a game like this – against the defending champions and a team on an early roll.
Speaking of Pollard, lot of chatter about his tete-a-tete with IPL commentator Sanjay Manjrekar – what do you make of that?
Well, I was in the press box, so I am not sure what was said during the commentary because the TV volumes are turned off there but it’s tough to imagine Sanjay Manjrekar calling Pollard brainless, which was the alleged trigger point of the incident. There was this article on the Scroll, which looked into this issue and what Manjrekar seems to have said is “does Pollard have a range as a batsman” rather than brain…interestingly it was Tino Best who tweeted to Pollard about this and he followed it up with another emotional tweet about not being treated right. Putting all of this aside now, the cricketing point is getting lost in the controversy and that simply is that Pollard needs to get going as a batsman. Didn’t have a great Big Bash League, found some of his mojo during the Pakistan Super League but is coming off an IPL season in which he averaged 25 with the bat – if he can re-discover some of his match-winning touch from down the order, don’t think he would even need a Twitter account to give it to back any critical commentator.
Any changes to the Mumbai Indians playing XI for this game?
I must say I was impressed by the Mumbai Indians bringing in an extra bowler last game – Ambati Rayudu was ruled out and they brought in Harbhajan Singh in his place and Harbhajan responded with figures of 0/27 from his four overs. That aside, Lasith Malinga’s re-entry to the side helps – he bagged a couple of wickets at a time when Suryakant Yadav and Chris Woakes could have run away with the game. Against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, I am interesting in understanding how well would they manage their tactics against Rashid Khan. Rohit Sharma could look to jump up the order and if it’s difficult to accommodate Parthiv Patel down at four or five, Saurabh Tiwary could get a look-in.
And what’s your call on the Mumbai Indians, will they make it two wins in a row?
Mumbai have this uncanny habit of creating problems for themselves, and they don’t seem to be sparing themselves in this match either. I’ll elaborate – they start well with the bat – confident, aggressive, on top, then there’s this slump – runs do come, but that’s more from the opposition’s kindness – but it’s not enough. The last four overs leaves them with a lot to do. When it comes to their bowling, they appear to be more consistently controlled and steady than they were against Kolkata, but again, Mumbai may be another team that may display some poor fielding initially – hopefully no poor umpiring Suneer…
As I had said yesterday, the fight for the wooden spoon this IPL season seems to be between poor catching and horrible umpiring and there seems to be no clear winner so far…
Yes, indeed. Now, what about the Sunrisers Hyderabad. A title win last season and suddenly two wins in a row makes them title favourites again?
What they also did was to make some daring picks during the IPL Auction like Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi and have the courage to play Rashid – it’s quite easy to pick players from the lower-ranked teams, the Associates and then relegate them to the bench but Tom Moody and co. have been quite brilliant with their selection.
And that strong bowling squad that we had discussed even before the start of the tournament is really coming to the fore for the Sunrisers already?
And mind you they are without Mustafizur Rahman and the Sunrisers don’t seem a team that’s missing him too much. To a large extent, Rashid’s wicket-taking has taken over from Rahman but let’s not underestimate the role of Bhuvneshwar Kumar here – he has been equally tough to get away and has been picking wickets at different stages of the game – that’s worth its weight in gold.
For a team that has won two matches in a row, surely you wouldn’t want Warner and co. to change anything around in the team?
Not really, but sometimes there are niggles and other fitness issues you don’t know about and then there’s always a consideration for a different pitch. The last one that was used at the Wankhede came on to the bat rather well, but some surfaces can assist bowling a lot more in Mumbai which could necessitate a look at the line-up. I had earlier expressed surprise at Kane Williamson’s exclusion – he is third in the ICC’s T20I rankings but I think Moises Henriques has done enough as a batsman for the Sydney Sixers and now in the IPL to prove his worth at that position. Apparently, Mustafizur will be back too, which should allow him to walk right into the team ahead of Ben Cutting but that weakens the batting a tad, which means someone like Bipul Sharma or even Ashish Nehra could be dropped for an Indian batsman like, say a Vijay Shankar or Eklavya Dwivedi…
While talking about Mumbai, you spoke of Hyderabad’s kindness – what was that about?
O’ yes, I did. The Sunrisers, with their bowling line up, surprisingly may not be at their best, so although, Mumbai will give them opportunities, they won’t be able to choke them enough. So decent bowling but probably not good enough. Now their batting builds good strong foundations, then they could lose way in the middle overs only to regain some composure and momentum towards the end. One last thing, I don’t see major fielding disasters, but some nervous energy could be quite visible.
And, who will it be, Shruti?!
Now if I say Mumbai Indians – you’re not going to be surprised and, frankly I don’t plan to surprise you either! But in all seriousness, these are two tough sides who won’t want to give up but there is better team work coming through from Mumbai, which is why it’s tarot advantage: Mumbai Indians.
Yes, still waiting for the day when you say the advantage belongs to Mumbai’s opposition, Shruti…still waiting!
What about you Suneer?
I would go with the team batting second.