Opportunity to heal early wounds for MI SRH

IPL 2024

Mumbai Indians registered their 12th successive loss in their opening game of the IPL season.

How to heal a broken heart?

This might perhaps be among the top searches for fans of Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad as both teams enter the IPL 2024 contest on Wednesday after experiencing gut-wrenching opening losses.

Although MI fans would have been accustomed to watching their side lose opening matches - what with 12 such defeats since 2013 - the manner of the loss to Gujarat Titans would have hurt them as much as it did the team. With 48 needed off the last six overs in a chase of 169, MI were in cruise mode before the Titans gave them a jolt as they ended up with 162/9.

The SRH effort against Kolkata Knight Riders was even more remarkable. They were chasing a mammoth 209, reduced to 111/4 after 14, and needed 60 in the last four overs. Heinrich Klaasen and Shahbaz Ahmed reignited the hopes and even brought it down to 7 off 5 before Harshit Rana came up with the silencing act.

So to address the question mentioned at the top, the best way to do that from a cricketing perspective would be to quickly pick up a win. MI have a slight edge, having won their last two encounters against SRH, including chasing down a target of 201 rather comfortably in Hyderabad. That loss was one of six defeats SRH suffered at home in the previous season and they will be keen to remedy that and start on the right note in their first home match in this edition.

When: Wednesday, March 27 at 19:30 IST

Where: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad

What to expect: The pitches here have supported a fair fight between bat and ball, with 180-plus being a par total here in the previous season.

Head to head: MI have 12 wins compared to SRH's 9. Since IPL 2020, MI have had an upper hand against SRH with 5 wins out of 7.

Team watch:

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Injury/Availability: Wanindu Hasaranga is unavailable for the game, confirmed captain Pat Cummins who said: "He's definitely not in India. I think he's seeing a specialist. Hopefully, I'll have more information on him in the next few days."

Tactics & Matchups: Using Cummins and Washington Sundar early might work to SRH's advantage. Cummins has dismissed Ishan Kishan four times in the IPL while Sundar has accounted for Rohit's wicket thrice. Bhuvneshwar against Hardik Pandya is also a good matchup from SRH's point of view, with the experienced pacer having dismissed the MI captain two times.

Probable XI: Mayank Agarwal, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Abdul Samad, Shahbaz Ahmed, Marco Jansen, Pat Cummins (c), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mayank Markande, T Natarajan [Impact sub: Abhishek Sharma for Natarajan].

Mumbai Indians

Injury/Availability: Suryakumar Yadav continues to be unavailable for Mumbai Indians who are yet to receive any information/clearance from the National Cricket Academy about his participation in the IPL.

Tactics & Matchups: Piyush Chawla might be a good option against Mayank Agarwal who has been dismissed nine times by right-arm legspinners since IPL 2021 and has a strike rate of 111.39 against them. Jasprit Bumrah has a good matchup against the opener as well, having bagged his wicket thrice in 16 deliveries. They might, however, be wary of using too much spin against Heinrich Klaasen who has scored 648 runs at a strike rate of 190.32 against the slower bowlers in T20 cricket since January 2023. That said, he has also been dismissed by spinners nine times, four of which have been against right-arm wrist spin.

Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan (wk), Tilak Varma, Naman Dhir, Hardik Pandya (c), Tim David, Shams Mulani, Piyush Chawla, Gerald Coetzee, Jasprit Bumrah, Luke Wood [Impact sub: Dewald Brevis for Wood].

Did you know?

- After a successful IPL season in 2022, in which he scored 413 runs at a strike rate of 158.24, Rahul Tripathi has struggled to make an impact. He scored a lone fifty in IPL 2023 and had an average domestic season for Goa too, with only one fifty-plus score in 19 innings across formats. His IPL average in Hyderabad is 19.11.

- Jasprit Bumrah is only two wickets away from becoming the second Indian pacer to get to 150 wickets in IPL after Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

What they said?

"I think IPL is always...teams that have done well...you got to make your home a fortress. We've got some experienced (players) in our team that have played a lot here. So we'll use that experience. It's really important to win at home" - Pat Cummins, SRH captain.