HYDERABAD: A spotless record and an ability to come back into the game from any pressure situation. That is how effective Sunrisers Hyderabad were at home. But on Saturday, they were handed their first home defeat this season, by Rising Pune Supergiant. The loss dented their playoff chances, and brought to the fore the problem of their inconsistent middle-order once again.
Due to play Mumbai Indians in their last home match, Hyderabad would be looking to tackle this issue.
In the last five games, just one batsman apart from the top 3 has a fifty to his name — Yuvraj Singh’s 70 against Delhi Daredevils. Moises Henriques, who had shown a lot of promise in the first half of the tournament, has just scored 91 runs in his previous five innings. Deepak Hooda and all-rounder Bipul Sharma, who have been in and out of the team, have not been up to the mark in the opportunities the duo have got.
Team mentor VVS Laxman believes contribution of the middle order is important if the team wants to win against a strong side like Mumbai and also advance to the playoffs.
“I guess our top-order has been giving us really good starts. The batsmen to follow have found it difficult to score runs after that. But we are confident of a good show against Mumbai, as we have got capable batsmen who can change the course of the match.
“Having said that, we do realise that our Indian batsmen in the team really need to up their game. We look at options like Hooda, who had done really well for us last year, but this year, they are due for a big innings.”
On the other hand, Mumbai are going from strength-to-strength in this tournament. Be it their bowlers or batsmen, they have found players to step up when needed. They have not been reliant on one individual. Being the only team to have sealed their place in the playoffs, Mumbai don’t really have an area of concern going into the match against Hyderabad.
Coming off a thumping 146-run win against Delhi Daredevils, their bowlers will be charged-up, and will look to churn out another such performance.