T20 2018: Mumbai eye first win against spirited Hyderabad today
Mumbai will be buoyed by the fact that Hardik Pandya's injury was not too serious and that they return to Hyderabad, the venue where they were crowned champions for a third-time last year
Mumbai team cricketers warm up during a training session in Hyderabad on Wednesday. Pic/PTI
Not only did Mumbai narrowly lose the tournament opener to Chennai, they also lost a bit of psychological advantage as it was discovered through Dwayne Bravo's sensational assault that even brilliant death bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah and Mustafizur Rahman can be taken to the cleaners, and then they lost Pat Cummins to injury.
On the face of it, not all is dandy but to negate the negatives they found a leg-spinner in Mayank Markande, who bamboozled some of the best players of spin in the Chennai line-up and is likely to relish bowling on the Hyderabad surface. He may also relish the opportunity to be pitted against Afghanistan's Rashid Khan, who has proven to be one the canniest operators in the tournament.
Mumbai will be buoyed by the fact that Hardik Pandya's injury was not too serious and that they return to Hyderabad, the venue where they were crowned champions for a third-time last year. But they will come up against a spirited Hyderabad unit that seems to have taken the loss of David Warner in their stride, exemplified by a clinical performance in their opening match which they won by nine wickets.
These two are arguably the two best bowling sides in the competition, so a lot could depend on the batting. That's where Mumbai might have a slight advantage given that everyone in their middle-order had a good hit against Chennai and put in a noteworthy contribution. For Hyderabad's Shikhar Dhawan's aggressive approach in his unbeaten 77 and Kane Williamson's form were a boost but their unbeaten partnership that helped them gallop home also meant that no one else got a chance to bat.
Their opening combination, however, remains under the scanner with Wriddhiman Saha failing to impress in the first game. While coach Tom Moody said that they felt Saha was a dangerous player who can have an impact for them at the top of the order, he also indicated that they were considering a couple of changes against a strong Mumbai outfit.
"To be honest with you we are looking at a couple of options, yes, but we are reluctant to make too many changes for obvious reasons. But we are also very aware that we'd like to make sure we have the right match-ups for tomorrow's game against Mumbai," said Tom Moody.