HYDERABAD: There has been a lot of hue and cry over Sunrisers Hyderabad’s dismal batting form, and opener Shikhar Dhawan is facing a major chunk of this criticism. With two straight losses to begin their IPL campaign, questions are bound to be raised.
Dhawan, who managed 6 and 8 in the first two matches, has looked far from comfortable at the wicket. Numbers don’t tell the whole story, but the southpaw was axed from the India squad before the semifinal against West Indies at the recently concluded World T20. But Sunrisers head coach Tom Moody stands firmly behind his ward. “I’m happy with Shikhar’s intent. He’s getting into good positions while playing shots. There are positives, and he’s working hard to turn things around,” said Moody.
In the 2013 season, when Hyderabad reached the playoffs, Dhawan played an instrumental role. He scored 311 runs in 10 innings, with 3 fifties. Similarly, last season, Sunrisers came tantalisingly close to the playoffs, with the Delhi lad contributing 353 runs in 14 innings, with an average reaching the late 20’s.
It would not be wrong to infer that the Hyderabad outfit does well when Dhawan gets going. If the opener gets a start against Mumbai Indians, it will be relatively easy for the middle order too, against a good bowling line-up that has been consistently doing well. “As you see in any T20 game, if you lose wickets in the powerplay overs, it’s really difficult to come back. But, we’re capable of making a quick comeback. Mumbai did it last season,” he said.
Hyderabad vs mumbai
Pros & Cons
Sunrisers will look for their first win this season as they face Mumbai on their home soil. Mumbai have the bragging rights after winning last edition’s final group match by nine wickets and 37 balls to spare. David Warner should push Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman early on after his neat display against KKR. For Mumbai, the underperforming Kieron Pollard, who has three runs from as many games, is under pressure and will look to deliver as Mumbai seek a turnaround.
Pitch & Conditions
A lot of runs is on offer at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium after KKR’s chase of 143 last match. Less scope for rain again.
key player:mustafizur rehman
Rahman’s stellar performances against India in 2015 put him in the limelight and Sunrisers roped him for a massive `1.4 crore at the auction. With Nehra still doubtful, David Warner will expect the 20-year-old to shoulder a bigger burden.
1 Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians met twice last season, with each team winning one.