Mumbai Indians (MI) will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in match number 69 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday, May 21. The first match of the double-header is a must-win encounter for MI, keeping the playoffs scenario in mind. They need to beat SRH and then hope that Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) go down to Gujarat Titans (GT) or the match is rained off. Here are player battles for MI vs SRH match 69.
1. Rohit Sharma vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma has had another underwhelming IPL campaign. In the ongoing season, he has only managed 257 runs in 13 games at an average of 19.77 and a strike rate of 131.12. Can he lift his game in a must-win encounter against SRH?
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been excellent for SRH with the ball, especially at the start of the innings. In 13 matches, he has picked up 15 wickets at an average of 26.60. Following his five-fer against Gujarat, he proved expensive against RCB. Can he win the battle of veterans against Rohit?
2. Rahul Tripathi vs Jason Behrendorff
There were high hopes from Rahul Tripathi heading into IPL 2023. However, he has failed to make an impact. In 13 matches, he has scored only 273, averaging 22.75 with a strike rate of 128.17. He opened in the last game but failed again.
With nothing to lose, SRH could look to continue opening with Tripathi. He will be challenged by Jason Behrendorff, who has impressed with the ball for MI. In nine matches, he has claimed 14 wickets at an average of 21.57. He will look to dismiss Tripathi cheaply.
3. Suryakumar Yadav vs Mayank Dagar
Suryakumar Yadav has been spectacular in the second half of IPL 2023, after a poor start to his campaign. From April 30 to May 12, he registered a sequence of scores which read as follows -55, 66, 26, 83 and 103*. He was dismissed for 7 in the last match and will want to shine against SRH.
Hyderabad brought in Mayank Dagar for the last game and though it did not result in a victory, the left-arm spinner did a good job, conceding only 25 runs in his four overs, without claiming a wicket. SRH might look to Dagar to keep SKY quiet, which will be a big challenge.
4. Tim David vs T Natarajan
Tim David is proving to be a brilliant finisher for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2023, carrying on from where he left off towards the end of last season. He has come in and played some brutal cameos to win matches for the team. In the last game too, he smacked 32 not out off 19 in a losing cause against LSG.
T Natarajan remains the death-overs specialist for SRH. In 12 games in IPL 2023, he has claimed 10 wickets at an average of 41 and an economy rate of 9.11. He has not been at his best, but there have been glimpses of vintage Nattu. Can he stand up against David?
5. Heinrich Klaasen vs Piyush Chawla
This will be the battle of SRH’s best batter versus Mumbai’s best bowler. Even as Hyderabad have had a miserable season, Heinrich Klaasen has been absolutely outstanding for them. In 11 matches, he has smashed 430 at an average of 53.75 and a strike rate of 179.17. He even struck a hundred against RCB.
Game after game, Piyush Chawla has delivered the goods for MI. In 13 matches, he has picked up 20 wickets at an average of 19.15 and an economy rate of 7.66. Not only has he been among the wickets, but has kept things tight as well. Both Chawla and Klaasen will be high on confidence. Who will win this potentially defining battle?