Manish Pandey, the experienced India batsman who was dropped by the Sunrisers Hyderabad's (SRH) for their last four matches, returned back as the captain of the side vs Mumbai Indians (MI) in Abu Dhabi on Friday. Regular captain Kane Williamson opted out of SRH's last league game with an injury.
Manish Pandey at toss, revealed that the New Zealand star opted out of the game because of an elbow niggle. Notably, the same has caused discomfort to Kane Williamson in the past as well. Manish Pandey, who has played 153 IPL matches till date, is captaining a side in the cash-rich league for the first time ever.
Interestingly, the 32-year-old did not feature in SRH's last four games after being dropped due to his poor show in his first two outings of the second leg of IPL 2021. Overall, the Karantaka batsman has scored 223 runs from 7 innings in the ongoing season.
SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) October 8, 2021
"My first game as IPL captain. Last minute call. Kane had a niggle on his elbow, Bhuvi has a niggle too. We would have batted first too. We will look to bowl first and look to give Bombay little chance. I know they are going to come all guns blazing but we are ready," Manish Pandey said after Rohit Sharma asked SRH to field first.
The Hyderabad-based franchise are out of the playoffs race after winning just 3 out their 13 league matches in the 14th edition of IPL. Kane Williamson led SRH to a dramatic 4-run win against RCB in the side's last fixture. Also, Mumbai Indians need to beat SRH by a margin of 171 runs or more to become the fourth and final team after Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Delhi Capitals (DC) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to book a playoff berth. The unfulfillment of the criteria will see Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) finish fourth.