Struggling to stay afloat following their fifth defeat in six outings, former champions Mumbai Indians clash with a resurgent SunRisers Hyderabad in a crucial Indian Premier League game at the Wankhede Stadium here tomorrow.
MI seemed to have found their moorings after outclassing Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 19 in Bengaluru to end their dismal four-defeat streak.
But it appears to have been a false dawn considering the manner in which they were dumped to a 37-run defeat by Delhi Daredevils, who thus snapped their nine-match losing streak at home last night.
A lot of work, in re-jigging of personnel and strategy, remains for bottom-of-the-table MI before they confront the SunRisers, who have gathered themselves from a stuttering start to occupy the fifth position.
Captain Rohit Sharma had justified the chopping and changing of the playing XI in the matches gone by, but MI have failed to come up with the right answers.
R Vinay Kumar and Pawan Suyal, who opened the bowling in MI’s first home game against Kings XI Punjab on April 12, were left out of yesterday’?s game at the Ferozshah Kotla.
One of them, at least, appears to have earned the right to bounce back after the dismal show put up against the Devils by Jasprit Singh Bumrah, who was preferred ahead of Karnataka’s victorious Ranji captain Vinay, and his teammate Abhimanyu Mithun, who is yet to play a game.
The bright spot for MI in an otherwise gloomy bowling scenario has been the generally good show put up by their key men ? Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh – after a dismal start against defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders on April 8.
It’s in finding the other bowlers to share the work load that MI, looking for their first win at home this season after making it their fortress last year, have yet to get it right.
There are issues with the seam attack after the pull-out of Australia’s Josh Hazlewood.
New Zealander Mitchell McClenaghan, who has been given the all-rounder’s spot off late has impressed only in patches.
Meanwhile another Kiwi in the squad, Corey Anderson has been ruled out of the tournament with a finger injury.