With Chennai & Delhi already qualified, the hot race is on for the remaining 2 spots with as many as 5 teams looking to book their berth to the playoffs. Amongst them Mumbai & Hyderabad are best placed and the same two teams lock horns tonight at the Wankhede. Mumbai lost their last game against Kolkata but Hardik Pandya played one of his best innings. Hyderabad, on the other hand, scored over Punjab with another 200 plus target powered by David Warner. Although they will be without their star man as he has left to prepare for the World Cup.
The three-time champions are third in the table with 14 points from 12 games. A win tonight will assure them a spot in the playoffs and it could not have come at a better time as the tournament’s top scorer has left their opponents. To add to that, Mumbai plays this game at home in favorable conditions & expect the crowd to get behind their team. Rohit Sharma’s side is still trying to get the team combination right as we saw Barinder Sran starting the last game & Beuran Hendricks waiting in the wings. It will be interesting to see who plays tonight.
Probable Line-up – Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (w), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Rahul Chahar, Beuran Hendricks, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga
Hyderabad’s opening pair has been one of the best performers of this tournament. With both departing, the franchise has huge boots to fill. Martin Guptill is expected to replace Warner & there will be a lot of pressure on Captain Kane Williamson to deliver with the bat. And the team’s middle order issues need to be solved. They can take solace in the fact that Manish Pandey is in good form & was supporting Warner’s heroics well in the last few games.
Probable Line-up – Martin Guptill, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson(c), Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, K Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma
With notable absentees from Hyderabad, Mumbai seems to be a more balanced side & we think they will win tonight to enter the playoffs.
Thursday 02 May (8pm IST) at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
There is no forecast of rain, expect humid weather.