Dubai: Mumbai Indians coach Shane Bond is quietly confident about surmounting the challenges ahead as his team seek their ‘A’ game against a familiar opponent in Delhi Capitals in the first Indian Premier League (IPL) play-off in Dubai on Thursday.
With their top two bowlers – Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult rested, the champions completed their preliminary round matches with an embarrassing 10-wicket loss against fellow qualifiers Sunrisers Hyderabad late on Tuesday.
However, that final loss has not taken anything away as the four-time defending champions ended on 18 points after their nine wins, according their their bowling coach Shane Bond – often described as New Zealand’s most complete fast bowler since Sir Richard Hadlee.
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“It will be the same opposition on the same ground, and nothing really changes for us at any given time. We’ve played them [Delhi Capitals] and we all know what to expect and how we ought to play and what our gameplan needs to be,” Bond said during Wednesday’s media interaction.
“We’ve done all that was possible and won nine matches. So by now, everyone in the squad is aware of what we need to do and how we need to play on another two occasions of this tournament. We match up well against this team [Delhi Capitals],” he added.
Skipper David Warner’s unbeaten 85 and Wriddhiman Saha’s 58 not out helped Sunrisers Hyderabad reach the last four of the IPL. Sunrisers will now play Royal Challengers Bangalore in Friday’s eliminator with the winner advancing to Sunday’s second qualifier against the losers of first qualifer (Mumbai or Delhi) for a crack at the November 10 final.
“That’s the nature of this tournament. The games come thick and fast and the good thing is that we’ve got an experienced bunch of players and they have all done well so far. Even if there are losses - and there are going to be losses due to the long nature of this competition - you’ve got to review the game and get on with the next one,” Bond said.
“We’ve been consistent at best and despite those few losses in between, we’ve qualified for the play-offs well in advance this year. Having such a quality of players has been a real bonus for us. It makes us very, very tough to beat. I know we go into this game completely confident that we are going to win it and be ready for the final on November 10,” he added.