SHARJAH: Defending champions Mumbai Indians are currently in the bottom half of the IPL points table after seven losses from 12 matches but their bowling coach Shane Bond on Saturday said they are “still in the competition”.
The five-time champions could only manage a modest 129/8 which Delhi Capitals chased down for a four-wicket win.
“We are playing okay, we know that we are playing nowhere near our best, but we are still in the competition,” Bond said.
“We’ll see what happens. We only had fine wins, but if we can get two wins under our belt and a few results go our way,” he said.
They next face Rajasthan Royals at the same venue in three days.
“I don’t think the plan will change too much. We’ve got a couple of areas we need to tidy up. We know we’re still in the competition, even though we lost today.”
Sent in to bat, Mumbai struggled in the middle overs, managing just 21 runs with the loss of three wickets in five overs.
“We thought if we got a score around 145 it would probably be a winning total which probably proved to be right.”
“Look, the bowlers gave ourselves an opportunity to win the game, but I think Delhi played well in the middle, they took some chances and we knew that it was going to get tougher.”
Bond praised Surya Kumar Yadav who looked to have regained his touch with a 26-ball 33 before being dismissed by Axar Patel.
“He (Surya) just played how he normally he plays. He’s hitting the ball beautifully in training. He was getting that fluency and looked like the way he played last season, it’s just unfortunate that he’s getting out.”
Delhi left-arm spinner Patel, who was adjudged man-of-the-match for his 3/21, said the plan for him was to bowl full against Surya.
“I was bowling according to the batsmen’s strengths. Surya was mostly playing sweep and over the cover shots. So I was bowling him full. I was not being predictable and that was the gameplan I had with Rishabh,” said Patel.
Chasing a small target of 130, Delhi also kept losing wickets but Shreyas Iyer (33 not out) and Ravichandran Ashwin (20 not out) helped the side chase it down in 19.1 overs.
“The wicket is a bit slow and the ball is stopping a bit, it’s not coming on to bat as you expect. It’s hard to play big shots here,” Patel said.
“We just wanted to take it deep and it was about playing in singles and doubles.”
“We have seen how Sharjah wicket has fared. It was once again a 130-135 wicket and we had to bat accordingly. The way Iyer and Ashwin finished was great for us,” he concluded.