Mumbai Indians v Sunrisers Hyderabad
Thursday May 2, 15:30
Live on BT Sport and Star Gold (Sky channel 729)
Indians seeking to maximise home advantage
Mumbai Indians get a second chance to guarantee themselves a play-off place after losing to Kolkata by 34 runs on Sunday. The loss was Mumbai's fifth in 12 matches and with two games to play they need one more win to ensure tournament progression. Ideally they would win both home games and secure a top two finish. A loss against Sunrisers on Sunday and things become more tense this weekend where a further defeat would leave them reliant on other results.
KKR were inspired by another phenomenal Andre Russell blitz and Mumbai failed to overhaul a commanding total of 232. After losing the top order cheaply, Hardik Pandaya threatened to out-muscle Russell with a superb 91 from 34 balls, but fell short of the winning line against KKR. Pandaya's superb form is a major plus for India ahead of the World Cup and could take Mumbai all the way at IPL 2019. The Kolkata defeat wouldn't unduly concern me as a Mumbai backer. Sometimes the opposition put in a better shift.
In the field Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik and Krunal Pandya, Lasith Malinga and Rahul Chahar are combining well with the ball. They give captain Rohit Sharma plenty of variety.
Sunrisers look to replace departed duo
Sunrisers have six wins from 12 matches and are two points behind Mumbai in the IPL 2019 table. They know a win in Mumbai will stick their foot in the play-off door. Two wins in their remaining matches and the play-offs are secure. With one win they could still qualify, particularly as their current net run-rate compares well with their nearest competition.
Sunrisers have been significantly weakened by the loss of their star opening batsmen. Jonny Bairstow had already returned to England ahead of the World Cup. David Warner has now also ended his IPL stint, waving goodbye with 81 in SRH's 45-run win against Kings XI Punjab on Monday.
The saving grace for Hyderabad is they bring in the talented Kiwi pair of Martin Guptil and Kane Williamson, but they have little cricket under their belts. A few early wickets for Mumbai and SRH could fall apart. The Sunrisers follow their trip to Mumbai with am away game against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the weekend.
Mumbai to shade it but price doesn't appeal
Mumabi have won three of their five 2019 home matches and will be seeking to boost their home dominance at the Wankede Stadium against Sunrisers and then Kolkata. Sunrisers have not travelled well this season with just one win in five away trips.
In 13 IPL meetings between these two teams there is nothing in it with sRH shading the encounters 7-6. Mumbai won the earlier reverse fixture by 40 runs when paceman Alzarri Joseph swept through the SRH innings with a record-breaking 6-12 on his IPL debut.
Mumbai go into this match as favourites with home advantage against a weakened Sunrisers side, but the price of 1.684/6 isn't particularly appealing. I think Mumbai win this game, but won't be wading in with the odds on the skinny side.
Mumbai have plenty of quality in their batting but have not consistently fired during the tournament. The top order has often left it to the big hitters further down the line to bail them out. In many ways a team that shares the runs around and is not over-reliant on one man is well placed. The full stake in this market goes with skipper Rohit Sharma who, despite blowing hot and cold, is the best player in the top order. Priced at 3/1, Rohit has scored 307 tournament runs. The half-stakes play goes with Hardik Pandaya who is brimming full of confidence after his heroics against KKR. He has scored 355 runs this season, averages over 50 and has a strike-rate of 198.32. If the top-order fails to fire, Hardik is great value again at 5/1.
With Bairstow and Warner gone the Kiwis are left to carry the can at the top of the Sunrisers' batting order. Martin Guptil is a powerhouse opener and Kane Williamson is one of the best players in the world. They have little or no form to bring into this match however, so I'm taking a bit of a value flyer in a middle-order hitter to come to the rescue. Mohammad Nabi at 17/2 is capable if the top-order fold.
I really like the Man of the Match offerings. It's a punt that lasts the whole game and playing two or three players at half-stakes can yield a decent return if one comes good. My picks for this match at Harik Pandaya at 14/1, Lasith Malinga at 16/1 and Jasprit Bumrah at 12/1. All three have the capacity to make a match winning contribution.
Follow James on Twitter @cricket_badger