Mumbai Indians v Sunrisers Hyderabad: Back Mumbai to finally find form

Rohit Sharma
Matt Harris expects Rohit Sharma to guide his Mumbai Indians side to a vital two points against Hyderabad.
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Neither side is in good form coming into Tuesday's game but Matt Harris expects defending champions Mumbai to come away with the points...

"They may be the most successful team in the history of the IPL but Mumbai have just one win from five heading into week three."

Mumbai Indians v Sunrisers Hyderabad
Tuesday 15:30 BST
Live on Sky Sports Cricket

Traditional Slow Starters

They may be the most successful team in the history of the IPL but Mumbai have just one win from five heading into week three. They are traditional slow starters but are running the risk of getting cut adrift at the bottom and Sunday's defeat to Rajasthan was particularly poor as Rohit Sharma's men looked to have the game won before allowing number eight Krishnappa Gowtham to dominate the death bowling and ease the Royals home.

The skipper has been largely subdued with the bat but perhaps the main issue is the lack of input from the overseas picks. Mitchell McClenaghan is the man under most threat and while his left arm pace puts threat over economy, the Kiwi is a luxury if he's not taking those wickets.

Evin Lewis also needs consistent scores while Mustafizur 'The Fiz' Rahman and Kieron Pollard look safe for now and there is always a reluctance to drop Pollard even when he's offering very little. Admittedly there isn't a lot in the shed with Ben Cutting proving profligate earlier in the tournament but with Mumbai losing ground, it's certainly time to look at JP Duminy and possibly Adam Milne too.

Sunrisers Losing Ground

Hyderabad were the early pace setters, winning their first three matches but Kane Williamson's side have lost their last two, leaving them hanging on to the final play off slot by virtue of net run rate. There will be less cause for panic as the Sunrisers have a game in hand on the teams either side of them and there are unlikely to be any major team changes unless Mumbai hand out a third straight loss.

The big selection issue could revolve around Shikhar Dhawan and Sunrisers will be desperate to get the left-hander fit for Tuesday. Wriddhiman Saha has been largely ineffective at the top of the order while Dhawan's replacement against CSK - Ricky Bhui - lasted just five balls without scoring.

The Sunrisers are fairly rigid when it comes to their overseas roster and clearly they will not drop either Williamson or Rashid Khan but if Dhawan is absent again - and there is no confirmed news at the time of writing - they will have to somehow find room for Alex Hales.

No Home Comforts

It's debatable as to whether there is any home advantage in T20 cricket and while Mumbai's only win to date has come at the Wankhede, two defeats suggest that Sunrisers won't have any travelling concerns. The average first innings score across the three games stands at a healthy 190 and two of those totals have been chased down in the final over so this could ultimately prove to be the fastest scoring surface of the tournament.

The weather should be clear and humid on Tuesday and while all three skippers have inserted to date, I would perhaps expect the side winning the toss to take first knock and look to target that 190 average.

Mumbai Head the Market

I had hoped that their poor early season form would see Mumbai drift in the markets but Rohit's men start as clear favourites for the win at [1.79] with the Sunrisers back at [2.2]. I would have argued the case for a strong but underachieving side who could upset the market by making just one or two team changes, knowing that this is a must win.

I still think Mumbai will win it: I feel that sides are starting to 'work out' Rashid Khan and Sunrisers' batting is over-reliant on Dhawan and Williamson when both are in the side. If all options are available to the hosts, I would bring in Milne and Duminy but irrespective of that, I'll opt for Mumbai.

Skipper Under Pressure

Dropping Evin Lewis and bringing in JP Duminy would also give Rohit Sharma the opportunity to reclaim his natural slot at the top of the order. Rohit would argue that he made 94 against RCB batting at four but for stability moving forward, the skipper needs to take responsibility from the Powerplay onwards.

Mumbai's captain is my pick to score most runs against SRH at around the [3.4] mark. Other options include Evin Lewis at [3.0] or longer and the consistent Suryakumar Yadav who is admittedly tempting at his current [4.5].

Leading from the Front - Part 2

I'm backing both captains to top score for their respective sides in this match and while that may not be my most original assessment, Kane Williamson finds it hard to get out of form when he finds his touch.

The Kiwi came within two runs of taking the Orange Cap on Sunday and while Dhawan is likely to be favourite at around [3.0], Williamson is the value option if you can find him at around the [3.4] mark.


Matt Harris' IPL 2018 P/L

Staked: 12pts
Returns: 13.23pts
P/L: +1.23pts

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