After suffering a five-run defeat to Lucknow Super Giants, Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond criticised the bowling attack for not sticking to the already discussed plans.Mumbai's death bowling woes resurfaced on Tuesday when they conceded a whopping 54 runs in the last three overs as Lucknow posted 177/3, with Marcus Stoinis playing a knock to remember for ages on a tough pitch through 89 not out off 47 balls.
"For me, the most frustrating thing is about not sticking to the plans that we talk about. We were very clear with what we wanted to do on this wicket to players like Marcus and where we wanted to bowl, we didn't bowl there consistently enough."
"When you're looking at a team plan, you've got to get the batsmen to hit in areas where you want them to hit. Make it as hard as possible for them. You don't (want) them to hit you in areas that they want to hit."
"We saw that with Stoinis - a fine player. We knew he was trying to hit straight down the ground and we dished out balls for him to do it. In the end, his innings was the difference between the two teams," said Bond in the post-match press conference.
In the absence of Jofra Archer and Jasprit Bumrah, bowlers like Jason Behrendorff, Chris Jordan, Arjun Tendulkar, Arshad Khan and Akash Madhwal have been the main fast bowlers, who have collectively limited IPL playing experiences. But Bond refused to see that as an excuse.
"One of the things that we spoke about at the start of the tournament was that it is not an excuse. This is IPL, this is the toughest tournament in the world. And you're expected to go out and deliver the plans irrespective whether it's your first game or the 100th game. That's the mentality we take.
"We've always prided ourselves in our preparation, the work that we do behind the scenes and how we review the game - the mistakes on which we want to improve. The frustrating thing is that we're making the same mistake over and over again. From my point of view, it's disappointing."
Bond signed off by ruing the death overs bowling, which has left Mumbai's playoffs hopes hanging by a thread. "You can never stop good players from scoring runs. You'd rather have players scoring 89 from 47 be at 70 from 47. Those 17 to 20 runs can make a difference. We've talked about that at Wankhede over the course of the year. You are talking about a difference of 10-15 runs."
"You've seen the batting elevate to a different level this season. So you have to be brave, be able to read batsmen and perhaps be able to do things outside your comfort zone a little while longer. And we haven't done that."
"Bowling attacks are getting pumped all over the field in this tournament - and some of them are more experienced than us. But that still doesn't make it any better for us. At the end of day, those two points go away from us. Now we have to win and it's (playoff qualification) still out of our control, which is disappointing."