Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond asserted that the team is managing players not only from their point of view but also keeping the Indian national team in mind.
On Thursday, MI lost KKR by seven wickets despite a solid start from openers Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock as the middle-order failed to fire once again.
We are hopeful that Hardik Pandya will be back for the next match: Shane Bond
All-rounder Hardik Pandya missed his second match in a row since the IPL 2021 resumed and according to Bond, the 27-year-old player might be back in the team for the next game.
“Hardik is training well. He trained today (Thursday) and he is getting closer to playing. We are balancing the needs of our team along with the needs of Team India as well. This franchise looks after its players. We are hopeful that Hardik will be back for the next match, he trained well on Thursday,” Bond said during a post-match virtual press conference.
“It is not a hard directive, you have a duty towards the players. You have to look after them, like anything you have to balance everything and you have to balance what the player wants. One thing our franchise does is look after our players. There is no point in rushing him back, you do not want him to get injured and miss the rest of the tournament when we have a chance to win it,” he added.
Mumbai Indians middle-order has not got going: Shane Bond
Mumbai were 78/0 at one stage but once skipper Rohit Sharma departed, things changed for the five-time IPL champions as the middle-order batters followed their skipper in the dugout.
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan Kishan were dismissed for low scores by Prasidh Krishna and although Kieron Pollard slogged in the end he was ran out by Eoin Morgan in the final over as Mumbai could post 156/6 at the end of their innings.
Bond accepted the middle-order hasn’t contributed enough in the second leg of IPL 2021 but pointed that this is the top-class batting line-up and hoped for the team to win the remaining games.
“It is a fair comment. When you look at our team, we are probably operating around 80 per cent. We controlled the first six overs and we got into a position to further control the game against KKR, but as you rightly said that the middle-order has not got going. We talk about someone kicking through, we have not been able to do that and once again we found ourselves with a sub-par score,” Bond mentioned.
“The one thing we do know is that we have got a quality batting lineup. There are good surfaces so I am hoping that the team can kick in because we need to quickly start winning some games.
“I felt it was a 175 wicket and we were well short of the score. KKR bowled brilliantly. They showed discipline and then came out and really put us under pressure with the bat. They deserved to win,” he concluded.
Mumbai Indians will next play Royal Challengers Bangalore on September 26 in Dubai.