IPL 2020: Warner key as Sunrisers target playoffs

Ayaz Memon/Mumbai
Filed on November 2, 2020
David Warner needs to lead from the front if SRH harbour any hope to qualify for playoffs. — IPL

To counter the MI juggernaut effectively, SRH will need to be at their best in all departments of the game

Sunrisers Hyderabad did themselves a huge favour by the aggressive manner in which they won previous two matches to make their Net Run Rate positive.

What this means is a simple win tonight will see them qualify for the playoffs; the NRR will not come into the calculations as was imagined in the previous few days.

But that’s the easy part. The more difficult is getting past Mumbai Indians, who have appeared ruthlessly ambitious in defending their title even without Rohit Sharma in the past few games, and Hardik Pandya in the previous game.

Like SRH, MI too have won their previous two matches, and in a great style despite the absence of big stars, highlighting the depth of talent in the squad.

Because they are so comfortably ensconced in the points table — assured of a place in the top 2 — it is likely that MI will field some fresh players instead of the regulars. This can be of some advantage to SRH, but only if they play at full throttle.

Even if they experiment with players, Mumbai wouldn’t want to enter the playoffs on the back of a defeat. Maintaining momentum and winning the match will remain top priority.

To counter the MI juggernaut effectively, SRH will need to be at their best in all departments of the game, and for skipper David Warner to lead from the front as he has in the past week or so.

Warner’s touched peak form with bat, which is a serious threat to Mumbai, but he will need support from Wriddhiman Saha, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey and Jason Holder to quell the threat from Jasprit Bumrah and Co.

In the bowling, Rashid Khan is the lynchpin for SRH, of course. But Holder, Sandeep Sharma and Thangarasu Natarajan have also shone in the past few games, and this promises an engaging tussle with Mumbai’s strong batting.

SRH have been on a rollercoaster ride this season, starting poorly, getting into their stride then plateauing for a while, before getting a second wind in the last few games.

They are one `special’ effort away from being in the playoffs.

Players To Watch Out For:

Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah (MI), David Warner, Rashid Khan (SRH)

X Factor: Jason Holder

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