Press Trust of india

Both MI, SRH look to making wining comebacks after narrow opening defeats

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Hyderabad:  Mumbai Indians will aim to land the killer punch after fluffing an easy run-chase in their opener when they meet a dangerous Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League here on Wednesday.

Five-time champions MI had a lot going for them in their tournament opener against the Gujarat Titans, whether it was the incisive spells from pacer Jasprit Bumrah, Dewald Brevis’ impactful knock or Rohit Sharma’s fireworks at the top of the order.

But MI, who have built a reputation of slow starters over the years, could not manage 48 runs off 36 balls with seven wickets in hand. With the 10-team event being more competitive than ever before, Mumbai cannot afford more such lackadaisical performances going forward.

In his first game as Mumbai captain, Hardik pushed himself down the order at number seven to accommodate the likes of Tim David and Brevis higher up.

Considering he batted much higher for the Gujarat Titans last year, there is a case for him to bat higher up the order.

Opener Ishan Kishan, back to action after a long break, could only last four balls against GT. With the T20 World Cup in mind, his performances will be tracked closely and have added significance. He needs to be at his best with the bat and behind the stumps to make the national squad.

Hardik will also be expecting an improved performance from spinners Shams Mulani and Piyush Chawla.

They face SRH on their home turf and the Pat Cummins-led side showed against Kolkata Knight Riders what they are capable of.

The big-hitting Heinrich Klaasen almost got them over the line from a hopeless situation though the rest of the batters put up below par performances.

The opening duo of Mayank Agarwal and Abhishek Sharma has shown promise but would also need to be consistent if SRH are to do well in the competition.

SRH have invested heavily in pinch hitter Abdul Samad and it is high time he delivers on the promise.

The seasoned Bhuvneshwar Kumar was Andre “Russelled” on Saturday night and will look to bounce back strongly.

“Tough job in cricket to bowl to someone like him (Russell). It’s one of those ones which goes one way or the other. Who would have thought we would have got that close? Unfortunately, a bit too much. Lots to be encouraged by. A couple of points to work on also,” Cummins said after the narrow loss at Eden Gardens.




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