The Mumbai Indians find themselves in a similar position from last season, where they found wins hard to come by and then banked on their home form to sneak into the playoffs. MI will need to do the same thing again if they are to harbour hopes of making the IPL 2015 knockout rounds, and the first step towards that recovery will be with a victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.
MI, who have won just one match in six, were as bad as they have been all season against the Delhi Daredevils, conceding 190 in the first innings and then hardly putting up a fight in the chase. It is quite clear that Rohit Sharma cannot hold himself back in the middle order and look to finish games, the Mumbai Indians skipper needs to lead by example and open the batting with Lendl Simmons, to give that all-important impetus at the top.
The Mumbai Indians' balance has also been thrown following a tournament-ending injury to Corey Anderson, while the form of Lasith Malinga has left a lot to be desired as well. Malinga might still be better than most in the T20 game, but that potency, those unhittable yorkers are not coming out as often as they used to, and maybe it is time for MI to look to a couple of their other foreign exports in the bowling department.
MI replaced Aaron Finch and Josh Hazlewood with Ben Hilfenhaus and Colin Munro respectively and both of these fast bowlers can give a fresh "OK let's start from zero" feel to the side, much like Simmons did when he came in and started smashing the bowling last season.
SRH will be in much more high spirts that the Mumbai Indians, having picked up a convincing 16-run victory over KKR in their last game. Yes, the match was won after KKR's target was reduced to 118 in 12 overs, but the Sunrisers bowlers were quite impressive in restricting the always-good-at-chasing Knight Riders batsmen.
Dale Steyn, after being left out in the first couple of games, is slowly coming into his own, and the SRH think-tank might consider unleashing what everyone has wanted to see in IPL 2015 – a Steyn-Boult combo up front with the white ball.
So far, it has been Steyn or Trent Boult, with SRH, who have won two of their five games in IPL 2015, preferring an extra overseas batsman in their side, but with the batsmen for MI struggling for consistency, that lethal South African-New Zealand attack could come into play at the Wankhede.
"It is a possibility," said SRH mentor VVS Laxman. "But, we have to see how the pitch is. At the moment it looks damp, so we haven't taken any decision on the playing eleven. We will take the final call [on matchday].
"Having said that, Mumbai Indians haven't played to their potential right now but they have got a dangerous batting lineup with match-winners. It is important to focus on what we are looking from this match and what we have to do right for us to have the right result on our side. We want to focus on our strengths and go with that."
Where to Watch Live
Get the Report and Match Highlights HERE
MI vs SRH is set to begin at 4 pm IST (11.30 am BST, 6.30 am ET). Live coverage in India will be on Sony Max (Hindi), Sony Six (English), Sony Aath (Bengali) and Sony Kix (Telugu and Tamil), while the IPL 2015 action can also be watched online via live streaming on Hotstar and Starsports online.
Viewers in the UK can watch the match live on Sky Sports 1, while the live stream option is on Watch Sky Sports and Sky Go. Audience in the USA can catch the game live on ESPN, while the Mumbai Indians vs Sunrisers Hyderabad can also be live streamed on ESPN Cricket.
Audience in the rest of the world can watch MI vs SRH Live on Cricketgateway.