Why are Luke Wood and T Natarjan not playing IPL 2024 Match 8 between SRH and MI?

Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad made changes to their squad for their second fixture.

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Luke Wood, T Natarajan
Luke Wood, T Natarajan

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) are about to take on Mumbai Indians (MI) in the first home game of the season on Wednesday, March 27 at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad. Both teams are coming into the game having lost their previous fixtures and will be eager to earn crucial two points on the points table.

MI captain Hardik Pandya called it correctly at the toss and decided to bowl first. While most teams don’t like to chop and change too much early on in the tournament both MI and SRH were forced to make a change in their playing XI for their second home game of the season.

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Mumbai had to replace Luke Wood with South Africa's young pace sensation Kwena Maphaka as the former got a niggle ahead of the game. On the other hand, Hyderabad also had to make a forced change as left-arm seamer T Natarajan also got a niggle and was replaced with Jaydev Unadkat.

Notably, Wood had a forgettable outing in the previous fixture against Gujarat Titans as he leaked 25 runs from two overs. His absence will provide an opportunity for the 17-year-old Maphaka who rose to the limelight with his sensational bowling display during the Under 19 World Cup 2024.

Kwena Maphaka was the leading wicket-taker of U-19 WC 2024

The left-arm seamer was the leading wicket-taker of the tournament with 21 wickets to his name from six innings at an average of 9.71 and an economy of 3.81. Courtesy of his performance, he was also bestowed with the prestigious Player of the Tournament award. He was signed by MI just a few days ahead of the season as a replacement for injured Sri Lankan seamer Dilshan Madushanka.

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On the other hand, Natarajan was the pick of the bowlers for SRH in their opening fixture with figures of 3/32 in four overs and hence will be a big miss for them. However, SRH has announced a like-for-like replacement in Jaydev Unadkat who is a vastly experienced bowler in the T20 extravaganza having played 94 matches in the tournament.

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