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Mumbai Indians: The X-factors in the middle order – their two destructive match-winners – Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard haven’t fired yet in the tournament and that is the reason the team has not got the impetus at the death in both the matches. Hardik has scored 15 off 17 balls and 13 off 10 while Pollard has managed just 5 off 8 and 7 off 9 deliveries in the first couple of matches. As a result, the defending champions haven’t yet reached 160 in the competition. A solution for MI would be to separate Hardik and Pollard and maybe push the Indian all-rounder to number 4.
The bowling won them the match against KKR. Trent Boult was back amongst the wickets after an indifferent first encounter. Jasprit Bumrah has been MI’s best bowler across the two matches – his standout quality being his ability to restrict the opposition batsmen.
Rahul Chahar showed his class and temperament returning with 4-27 in the middle overs in a match-defining spell against the Knight Riders. He was taken apart against RCB.
Kieron Pollard, the MAN OF THE MATCH, says it depends on the situation as to who goes out to bat in the middle. Adds that the batsman has to decide their strong areas and see what the bowler is trying to do. About his bowling, Pollard says that he wants to bowl more overs when it’s coming out well. Praises both Bumrah and Boult for the way they bowled towards the end and defended the score.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: SRH were gutted after squandering what should have been an easy win against the RCB in Chennai. Wriddhiman Saha has not fired in both the matches and needs to contribute at the top of the order. He was in blistering form towards the end of IPL 2020 in the UAE. David Warner recorded a quickfire fifty in their previous counter and will be the key if SRH are to post a big total.
SRH may take a gamble and draft in playmaker Kane Williamson to bolster their middle order. In that case, they will have no choice but to drop Jonny Bairstow from the XI – the England batsman hit a fine 55 off 40 deliveries against KKR. Manish Pandey has been amongst the runs in both their matches.
Jason Holder justified his inclusion picking three wickets conceding just 30 off his 4 overs. Bhuvneshwar was back to his restrictive best after being thrashed around against KKR. Rashid Khan has been the trump card for SRH in the middle overs picking wickets and being economical in both the encounters
Rohit Sharma | Winning captain: It was a great effort from the bowling unit. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. On that pitch, when you’re bowling well, it’s not easy. I thought it was a good score on that pitch. You saw from both the teams, trying to capitalise on the powerplay. Having said that, I think we can bat better in the middle overs. All these guys have played a lot of cricket on pitches like these. So, there are areas to work on. At the same time, don’t want to be too harsh on the guys. I think the pitch gets slower and slower. Rahul was turning the ball in his fourth over, which was the 12th or 13th over. That doesn’t happen in Mumbai. The ball was reversing as well. The slowishness of the deck doesn’t allow batsmen to come and slog straightaway. One set batter carrying through is needed, which is what’s not happening for all of the teams that have played here. Polly has done it for so many years for us at the back end. We have the confidence in him. It’s all about him getting some time in the middle. Our fielding was really good tonight, that’s something we take pride in. Those run outs and also the catches.
Hardik Pandya – I just make sure that the ball is in my hand and then target the stumps. To be honest, the run-out of Warner, I wasn’t expecting him to be that far, I just wanted to take aim and hit, and only then I realized that he was well short. We have a lot of character as a team, they got to a great start, but our bowlers pulled them back nicely, bowled good line and lengths, made sure that the pressure was built. Rahul Chahar, Krunal and all the others – we bowled as a unit, held the nerves and used all the opportunities that came our way. We have plenty of experience (having played long as a team), lots of feedback from the players and it helps having a captain who makes the most of it.
David Warner | Losing captain: I don’t know how to take that. Obviously disappointing. Two of us were set but it proves that if you don’t bat deep, you can’t win. That was my game-plan, a great piece of fielding from Hardik though. But that’s the game of cricket. These are very much chaseable targets, if you get a partnership and if there is one person at the end, you can chase it down. The guys need to play smart cricket in the middle, the bowlers have been fantastic and this wicket was slower than the previous wickets that we have played. You gotta learn from mistakes and it’s our responsibility at the top to bat deep. The bowlers adapted well. We have to move forward and keep having smiles on our faces. We have to speak to the physios, he’s (Williamson) coming along nicely and plays a big role in our squad.