Mumbai Indians have endured a torrid start to the season, losing three games in a row and the team’s head coach Mahela Jayawardene feels the five-time IPL champions need to adopt a ruthless attitude to finish off games. A lacklustre MI lost by five wickets to Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday night to slump to their third consecutive defeat of the season. The Rohit Sharma-led side had lost to Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals in its opening two games. “We were in the game pretty much all the way but then in the last few games we have not been ruthless enough to close games off,” Jayawardene said at the virtual press conference.
“It’s always tough when you have a start like this but we need to look at the positives. We are playing some good cricket but it’s just that we are not closing games off. All three games we were in it but we were not able to finish it off.
“So these are concerns, specially with the ball we are not executing at the back end under pressure. Our execution has been poor so we need to make sure we brush up on that,” he added.
Regarded as one of the world’s best in contemporary cricket, Australia’s Pat Cummins smashed a record-equalling fastest fifty — 15-ball unbeaten 56 — to power KKR to a comfortable five-wicket win over MI.
Jayawardene felt MI bowlers erred in their strategy while bowling to Cummins.
“We probably could have held on to the hard lengths against Cummins rather than bowling those extra change ups. The short boundaries are on the leg side so it is quite easy for Pat to hit a few slog sweeps,” he said.
The Sri Lankan, though, lauded his middle-order for taking the team to a par score after a poor first 10 overs.
“We knew that they have a strategy where they bowl their spinners at the back end as well so we needed to make sure that we had guys who could take them on and Suryakumar (Yadav) was one of them but initially it was a tough wicket, there was step bounce and there was little bit in it,” Jayawardene said.
“We got stuck a little bit and then we were behind and we needed to have that par score. So that was the plan in the 13th over and with a couple of big overs we got to a par score in the end.” The coach said MI need to return to winning ways soon to keep themselves afloat midway into the tournament.
“It’s a long tournament, (losing) three games, yes it is tough but we need to make sure we get a win and get into that good habit. We just need to make sure we are in it midway through the season,” Jayawardene said.
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