Injury woes for Mumbai, form issues for Hyderabad

It is still early days in the season, but Mumbai and Hyderabad have already found time to slip into old habits. Mumbai is an efficient outfit and their phenomenal success in the domestic tournament is primarily derived from their ability to grind out results and this they have done in their two games so far.

The visitors come into the contest in Uppal after a 10-day break, having picked up three points against both Railways and Rajasthan.

Despite seeming ordinary for several stretches in both games — they have conceded more than 400 in both their games — the batsmen did just about enough to take the first innings lead each time. Abhishek Nayar, with back to back hundreds, along with skipper Rohit Sharma, who eased into form with a 79 in the last game against Rajasthan, will look to make up with the bat what injury and poor form will deprive them of, with the ball. Ajit Agarkar and Dhawal Kulkarni are both injury doubts for the game, leaving the pace attack depleted and this probably represents the sole hope for the struggling home side.

Hyderabad, like Haryana, the other team that made the quarterfinal stage last year from the plate division, has been off to a disastrous start this season. Despite the presence of VVS Laxman, the side crashed to an innings defeat to Punjab in the opener and even a century from the middle order batsman couldn't help the side from conceding the first innings lead against Madhya Pradesh.

The back strain that forced him out of the third round game is likely to see him sit the Mumbai match in the dug-out too.

Excluding Laxman's efforts, the entire Hyderabad batting line up has made just six 50s and half the number has come from the bat of skipper and opener Akshath Reddy.

... contd.

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