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Hardik Pandya needs to work hard, talent not enough: Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene

Mumbai Indians were bowled out for 87 runs in their 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL 2018) match vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and MI coach Mahela Jayawardene didn’t mince words describing the woeful show.

cricket Updated: Apr 25, 2018 17:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
IPL 2018,Mumbai Indians,Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) bowler Siddarth Kaul celebrates after talking the wicket of Mumbai Indians cricketer Mitchell McClenaghan during the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL 2018) match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday. (AFP)

The 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL 2018) is turning out to be a nightmare for Mumbai Indians (MI). Out of their first five games, they have suffered four last-over defeats. But, on Tuesday night at the Wankhede Stadium, things just got more difficult. Their 31-run loss against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) while chasing 118 runs is the kind of performance which breaks any team’s resolve. (MI vs SRH highlights)

Their coach Mahela Jayawardene did admit their abject surrender is difficult to digest. Mumbai Indians were bowled out for 87 and Jayawardene didn’t mince words describing the woeful show. (MI vs SRH scorecard)

“We have put ourselves in this situation, there is no one else to blame. Today I am disappointed, some of the matches we lost, I thought we played good cricket, they could have gone either way, it is T20 cricket,” said Jayawardene.

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“(But) today was very disappointing. We just probably played the wicket thinking there is going to be demons out there and nothing much and we have just have to knock it around, did not take any responsibility, so that part quite disappointing, the dew came in as we expected after 10 overs, so no one took responsibility that is quite sad,” added Jayawardene.

It was not a typical Wankhede wicket and batting was a struggle on the slow surface. But, the Mumbai coach said his batsmen were aware of the nature of the turf after bowling first and with some sensible play they should have been home.

“Against the off-spinner (Mohammad Nabi) , we batted really well, tactically, but after that ... what was needed was a bit more sensible batting, that which we did not get,” said Jayawardene.

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“Even at the last bit, we were looking at 6-7 runs an over, so taken it to last 4-5 overs with couple of recognised batsman, we should have got through, that we did not do. And the tactic was, (with) Rashid (Khan) that we need to make sure (we) knock it around, that we didn’t have to take any risk against him, knock it around, which he gave us couple of boundaries to us as well. We didn’t play with our heads today.”

Underperforming players Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya have come under fire after another listless showing. Pollard has been a shadow of himself and failed to touch double digits on Tuesday.

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“With your question with Kieron, he is struggling a little bit, but we trusted with the system, you need to trust your players, you can’t chop and change, just because you don’t fire, you have to go with that structure and yes eventually like a coach I will have to make some calls which I have to think about it is too early for me, I need 24 hours to think about what happened today and not be emotional about it,” Jayawardene said analysing Pollard.

In the case of Hardik Pandya, who scrapped for three runs off 19 balls, it seems the opposition bowlers have found better bowling plans against Pandya. Jayawardene advised the all-rounder to work harder and keep evolving to be successful.

“Every year you can’t bat the same way, (if) people don’t evolve and improve, there is no progress. Young guys like Hardik will learn that and need to work harder. The talent alone will not get you (success). That’s the part they need to keep learning and specially with international good bowlers coming and doing various things you have to evolve otherwise you won’t be able to be consistent,” added the coach.

First Published: Apr 25, 2018 09:19 IST