Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond felt that the team have not been at their dominant best, but are still in contention for the IPL 2021 play-offs. The defending champions are currently sixth in the table with 10 points from 12 matches and will have to depend on other match results after suffering four-wicket loss against Delhi Capitals on Saturday.
"We are playing okay, we know that we are playing nowhere near our best, but we are still in the competition," Bond said in post-match press conference.
"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.
The holders have lost seven matches so far and will have to win their next two matches against Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad to stay in contention for a top-four finish.
"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."
At Sharjah, Mumbai kept losing wickets at regular intervals as they hobbled to a 129/8 in 20 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."
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel was the chief destroyer of MI's innings with 3-21 as he dismissed Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock and Saurabh Tiwary to break their momentum.
"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 said.