IPL: Sunrisers look to keep home record intact (Preview)

Hyderabad, April 30 (IANS) Sunrisers Hyderabad look to keep their home record intact when they take on mighty Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here Wednesday.

SRH will be in search of their fourth consecutive victory at home and aim to improve run rate to once again move up the points table. With five wins from nine matches, the Hyderabad team is currently at fifth position while with six victories in nine matches Mumbai Indians are a notch above Hyderabad.

SRH were topping the points table after their third consecutive win here against Kings XI Punjab April 19 but two losses in a row in away matches saw them slumping to the fifth position.

It will be a contest between Sunrisers’ bowling and Mumbai Indians’ batting. Mumbai have a formidable batting line-up with captain Rohit Sharma being one of the leading run scorers in the tournament.

SRH coach Tom Moody said his team feels confident on home surface. “We played three at home so far and won all three. We are looking forward to continue that form at home. We understand how it plays and we will be at our fighting best tomorrow,” he said.

Batting remains a problem for SRH. Skipper Kumara Sangakarra, who returned to the team after three matches, failed once again in the last match against Rajasthan Royals. Shikhar Dhawan, whose return to the side with 63 not out against Chennai Super Kings bolstered the batting, also failed against RR. The team had, in fact, lost six wickets at 29 before Darren Sammy with Amit Mishra and the tail-enders succeeded in setting a respectable target.

SRH will once again expect a match-winning knock from local boy Hanuma Vihari. The 19-year-old was man-of-the match with a fighting knock of 46 against Punjab and also played a valuable innings against RCB.

Moody said Mumbai were not unbeatable. When asked if the team has a special strategy for the star-studded team, the Australian said they were not worried about the big names.

“We are not really interested in names. We are interested in making sure we prepare well for the players we come across. They have got a variety of players. At the end of the day as we have seen in the past and we probably see in the future, teams like Mumbai are not unbeatable.”

He admitted that batting remained a weak area. “We haven’t scored the runs the way we would have liked. We are doing everything we can in our power to rectify that. But at the end of the day, it comes down to individual responsibility and each and every individual gets an opportunity at the top of the order. He has to grab that with both the hands.”

Facing Mumbai Indians for the first time, SRH take heart from the fact that they restricted the rival sides to 130 or less in all the three matches they played here.

Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and Karan Sharma will once again try to restrict the batsmen on their home ground.

On the batting front, the home side will have high hopes on Thisara Perera, Sammy and Cameron White (if he plays the match). White was rested in the last match to make way for Sangakkara.

Mumbai Indians, who defeated Kings XI Punjab Monday night, also had a training session but Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh did not attend.

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