Sunrisers Hyderabad face a daunting prospect when they square off against Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League in Mumbai on Thursday.
The match is important for both sides as a victory will bolster their playoff chances. Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals have already sealed their play-off spots, while the other two slots are yet to be decided.
Currently, Mumbai are third with 14 points from 12 games while Hyderabad are fourth in table with 12 points from as many matches.
If Mumbai win on Thursday, they qualify for the playoffs while a victory for Hyderabad will take them level on level terms with Rohit Sharma’s side with 14 points.
Warner, after scoring a staggering 692 runs from 12 matches, headed home to take part in the the Australian camp ahead of the World Cup.
Captain Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, all-rounder Vijay Shankar and comeback man Wriddhiman Saha will now have to shoulder the responsibility.
Hyderabad’s bowlers have performed well in patches and need to get their act together against Mumbai’s batting line-up.
The three-time champions have been well-served by South African Quinton de Kock (393 from 12 matches) and captain Rohit Sharma (307 from 11) at the top. In hard-hitting all-rounder Hardik Pandya (355 from 12) and West Indian powerhouse Kieron Pollard (228 from 12), Mumbai possess two batsmen who routinely take the opposition bowling attack to the cleaners in the death overs.
The likes of Suryakumar Yadav and Krunal Pandya will need to convert starts into bigger scores against the multi-pronged Hyderabad attack. Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan (14 wickets) has been their standout performer so far.
Sandeep Sharma (12 wickets from 11 matches), Khaleel Ahmed (11 from 6) and the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar (8 from 12), along with the Afghan spin twins Rashid and Mohammed Nabi, provide quality to the Hydrerbad bowling attack.
The home side will miss left-arm Australian pacer Jason Behrendroff, who has also headed home to take join the World Cup camp. Jasprit Bumrah (13 from 12), Lasith Malinga (12 from 8), Hardik Pandya (10 from 12) and spinners Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya form Mumbai’s backbone in the bowling department.
The Wankhede Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for them this season. They have won only three of their five home games so far. The last time these two teams met, West Indies pacer Alzarri Joseph recorded the best-ever bowling figures in IPL history as Mumbai Indians defended a low score at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (c), Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Hooda, Manish Pandey, T Natarajan, Ricky Bhui, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, Shreevats Goswami, Khaleel Ahmed, Yusuf Pathan, Billy Stanlake, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Shakib Al Hasan, Wriddhiman Saha, Martin Guptill, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Anmolpreet Singh, Siddhesh Lad, Ankul Roy, Evin Lewis, Pankaj Jaiswal, Ben Cutting, Ishan Kishan, Aditya Tare, Rasikh Salam, Barinder Sran, Jayant Yadav, Beuran Hendricks.