IPL: Sunrisers Hyderabad on balance in must-win match
Team balance is always important in cricket, more so in T20 cricket, where matches are won and lost by the slightest of margins. Sunrisers Hyderabad would believe that they have struck the right balance after back-to-back wins and would aim for one more when they take on Mumbai Indians in IPL 2020’s last group stage match.
Sunrisers just need to win to progress to the playoffs. Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have already made the playoffs and there’s just one more spot available.
If Sunrisers (net run rate 0.555) win, they will have the same number of points — 14 — as Kolkata Knight Riders (net run rate –0.214), but will advance on the basis of a better net run rate. If they lose, the Knights go through.
After taking a tough call to leave out the highly-rated Jonny Bairstow from the playing XI, Sunrisers have managed to play better. Bairstow’s replacement Wriddhiman Saha has made an instant impact as David Warner’s opening partner.
Also, the inclusion of Jason Holder in the team has given them an all-round option. Pacers Holder and Sandeep Sharma were extremely impressive in their last game against RCB.
Captain Warner is drawing strength from the past to inspire his team in the do-or-die match. “In 2016, we had to win three games and we did that,” Warner said after the RCB game, referring to their title-winning campaign four seasons ago.
But Mumbai Indians are not ready to let go of the winning momentum. 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 Sharma’s absence.