There have been two three-fors and as many four-fors at the Wankhede Stadium in the last three games. Batting too has been spectacular to watch, but defending a score has been easier only if the target is mammoth. To put things into perspective, the venue has been producing an equal battle between the bat and ball.
T Natarajan and Washington Sundar were rested for the last game due to injury. However, there is no update on their availability for the upcoming games. Make sure you crosscheck your fantasy teams once the toss is done.
Probable XI for Hyderabad: Abhishek Sharma, Kane Williamson* (c), Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram*, Nicholas Pooran* (wk), Shashank Singh, Sean Abbott*, Shreyas Gopal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kartik Tyagi, Umran Malik
Probable XI for Bangalore: Faf du Plessis* (c), Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell*, Shahbaz Ahmed, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Mahipal Lomror, Wanindu Hasaranga*, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Josh Hazlewood*
Abhishek Sharma has scored 331 runs at an average of 33 and strike rate of 134. At the venue, he scored 65 off 42 against Gujarat earlier in this edition. His battle against the disciplined Josh Hazlewood will be the one to watch out for.
After his five-wicket haul, Umran Malik has gone wicketless in consecutive games. Amidst all this, he bowled the fastest delivery in the league and conceded runs at an unreasonable economy of 12.5 RPO. Nonetheless, there is a twist in the tale: the five-for came at the Wankhede Stadium, where the pacers have time and again been a vital force.
If anything, Virat Kohli is struggling for timing, albeit he has finally started to score runs. He has collected 88 runs in the last two games, but they came at a strike rate of just over 100. Be that as it may, picking him has helped the fantasy players. The more Kohli occupies the crease, the better it is for fantasy cricket – and to some extent, Bangalore.
On the other hand, Kane Williamson has not struggled with timing but shot selection. He averages as much as Kohli, but the fact that he anchors the innings makes him a smart pick. His top scores read 32, 47, and 57.
With 16 wickets in 11 games, Wanindu Hasaranga is the highest wicket-taker for Bangalore. Given his tricky wrong-un, he could be introduced when Nicholas Pooran walks to bat.
In the only game that Josh Hazlewood played at the venue, he finished with the bowling figures of 3 for 28. The bounce and carry at the Wankhede Stadium reward his brand of bowling.
Harshal Patel has finally gotten into the groove. He won the Player of the Match award for his 3 for 35 against Chennai. His variations will come in handy once the conditions become batter-friendly.
If T Natarajan misses out on yet another game, you may fancy picking Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Although he has taken a wicket a match, he has managed to maintain an economy of 7.1 RPO. He rarely goes wicketless when Hyderabad bowl first.
Although Faf du Plessis has been frustratingly inconsistent this season, he remains a key batter for Bangalore. His 38 off 22 in the last game showed that he will fire on all cylinders, while Kohli holds the innings together.
You’ll be spoilt for wicketkeeping choices. Both Dinesh Karthik and Nicholas Pooran have been effective in their own ways. While Karthik has accumulated 244 runs at a strike rate of 189, Pooran’s last two scores read 64* and 62.
After winning five matches on the trot, Hyderabad seem to have lost the plot. They suffered defeats in their last three games, and injuries to key players such as Sundar and Natarajan have made matters worse for them.
On the other hand, Bangalore staged a comeback against Chennai after three consecutive losses. Their concern, as a matter of fact, has been inconsistency.
It’s a day game, so runs are likely to come thick and fast. Bowlers will decide the fate of their respective teams.
Time: May 8, 3:30 PM IST