Change of venue has worked for one team, while the change in captaincy hasn’t turned the fortunes of the other. No wonder then that Tuesday’s Indian Premier League clash between Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad will start with the defending champion enjoying the favourites tag.
After winning just two of its five games in Chennai, Rohit Sharma and Co. seem to have come into their element in the national capital, notching up successive wins to get its campaign back on track. And the last-ball heist that Kieron Pollard pulled off against arch-rival Chennai Super Kings over the weekend would have boosted its confidence further.
The shorter boundaries and a quicker deck at the Kotla have worked in MI’s favour. The five-time champion would be hoping that Hardik Pandya, who has been lacklustre so far, and Suryakumar Yadav, who has had a dip of late, will be back at their best against a tottering Sunrisers line-up.
Onus on top three
Sunrisers, on the other hand, will have to overcome battles within the camp. Despite David Warner putting a brave front hours after being axed as captain and performing all the duties of a reserve player, Sunrisers continued to appear as a dismantled unit in its last tie against Rajasthan Royals.
With a solitary win in the first half, Sunrisers will hope individual brilliance gees up the team. It will be interesting to see if Kane Williamson, reinstated as captain midway through the tournament, can deliver the much-needed boost against an attack led by his Kiwi compatriot Trent Boult.
With the Sunrisers’ middle- and lower-middle order found wanting time and again, the onus will be on the top three to make a match of it.