Dubai: Languishing at the bottom of the table, defending champions Mumbai Indians will be desperate to end their winless streak in their final match of the first leg of IPL in the UAE when they lock horns with another struggling outfit, Sunrisers Hyderabad, here, on Wednesday.
This is Mumbai Indians’ last chance to redeem themselves in the seventh edition of the cash-rich event before the action shifts to India.
Placed last in the eight-team league after losing all four of their matches so far, the title holders will not get a better chance of opening their account than taking on a lowly Sunrisers, who are just a shade better with only a win and three losses.
Mumbai Indians’ batting has come a cropper till now. Despite having some big names in their ranks, their batsmen have failed to impress. None of them have been able to put up an outstanding performance and the likes of skipper Rohit Sharma, Mike Hussey, Corey Anderson and Kieron Pollard have failed to fire in unison.
Ambati Rayadu has shown glimpses of his talent, but none were match-winning efforts.
In order to bring an improvement in their batting, they have also tinkered with the line-up in their last match against Delhi DareDevils. While Rohit Sharma and Aditya Tare opened, Mike Hussey came in at No. 5 in a bid to bolster the middle-order. But their ploy fell flat on its face as runs were hard to come by.
Come Wednesday, Mumbai Indians will need all the hard-hitting batsmen to contribute if they want to end their drought in the desert.
As far as the bowling is concerned, veterans Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh will need to bring in all their experience to restrict the opposition. The duo has not been able to make an impact at all and need to bowl well if Mumbai Indians want to effect a turnaround.
Sunrisers Hyderabad, on the other hand, have also been unimpressive. Only two batsmen — Aaron Finch and David Warner — have been able to make a mark so far in the tournament.
While the team will bank heavily on Finch and Warner yet again, it is high time that skipper and opener Shikhar Dhawan demonstrate his batting prowess.
The left-handed batsman has only been a pale shadow of himself and he needs to put in an inspirational performance if he wants the team to win.
The middle-order, with the likes of Lokesh Rahul, Y Venugopal Rao and Darren Sammy, also need to play key roles.