Mumbai Indians (MI) are just one win away from sealing a playoffs berth in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019. With 14 points in 12 matches, courtesy seven wins and five losses, Mumbai Indians will join Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2019 playoffs with a single victory. Rohit Sharma and his team will take on SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH), who will be without formidable openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow, at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, on Thursday. For SRH, the permutation says they need to win both their remaining matches or win one and hope Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab lose a match each.
Warner, after scoring a staggering 692 runs from 12 matches, headed home to take part in the national camp ahead of the World Cup, which begins on May 30 in England.
The void left by his departure would be felt and, in his absence, captain Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, all-rounder Vijay Shankar and comeback man Wriddhiman Saha will have to shoulder the responsibility.
SRH bowlers have performed well in patches and need to get their act together against MI's strong batting line-up.
MI 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), MI possess two batsmen who routinely take the opposition bowling attack to the cleaners in the last few overs of the innings.
The likes of Surya Kumar Yadav and Krunal Pandya will need to convert starts into bigger scores against the multi-pronged SRH attack in which Afghanistan's Rashid Khan (14 wickets) has been the standout performer.
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 SRH 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 MI's backbone in bowling.
Mumbai Indians have won only three of their home games out of the five played so far and do not enjoy the earlier aura of invincibility in familiar surroundings.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (capt), 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 (wk), Martin Guptill, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (capt), Quinton de Kock (wk), 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
Match starts 8 pm IST.
(With PTI inputs)