Time: October 4, 3:30 PM IST
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
Unlike other pitches, the one at Sharjah has not slowed down a bit. It is so flat that a single is as good as a dot ball. You need not overhit. The boundaries are so short that timing the ball is enough to sail it out of the venue. It might as well be fine if you pick only one bowler in your fantasy teams.
More than Rohit Sharma wanting to play at Sharjah, his fans will be itching to see him bat here. He clears the biggest of venues with his sheer timing. Sharjah is like the inner circle for him. He is the highest run-scorer for Mumbai, smashing 170 runs at a strike rate of 145.
David Warner has not displayed his best yet. Sunday might be the day he puts up a special show for us. His scores this season read 6, 36, 45, and 28.
Kieron Pollard has been dismissed only once in his last four innings. He has hit 138 runs at an outrageous strike rate of 212. We will see a lot of balls landing on the streets outside the venue.
The greatest of bowlers have been taken the cleaners here – even Shane Warne faced adversity in 1998. Whether Rashid Khan can keep the batsmen on the back foot, is a question only time can tell. His last three bowling figures read 1 for 25, 3 for 14, and 0 for 12.
What length will Jasprit Bumrah bowl? He is reputed for his yorkers, and of late his bouncers have been difficult to sight. He has sniped up 5 wickets in 4 matches, with an economy of just under 8.5 RPO.
Quinton de Kock looks in an ominous touch, but he hasn’t been half as good as he was in the previous edition. He has been trying too hard to hit the ball, instead of pursuing his usual, easy-going brand of batsmanship.
After the youngsters lifted Hyderabad from the ruins against Chennai, the perception about their middle-order has changed completely. Abdul Samad can use the long handle to destructive effects and bowled the final over MS Dhoni, a once-in-a-generation finisher. He is only 18, bowling to a 39-year-old warhorse. Then there is the belligerent Abhishek Sharma, whose bat lift is so high that even a mishit clears the ball out of the park. And yes, his finger-spin often produces economical spells. And then, there is Priyam Garg who spanked 51* off 26 against one of the experienced bowling attacks. To cut a long story short, it will be an uphill task for the Mumbai bowlers to put a lid in the runs.
The fantasy players are going to have a hard time making their teams in this star-studded contest. If anything, no fantasy cricket tip is good enough for games at Sharjah.
Mumbai: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, James Pattinson/Mitchell McClenaghan/Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
Hyderabad: David Warner (c), Jonny Bairstow (w), Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Priyam Garg, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan