Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond has conceded that the former champions’ inability to win their opening game season after season in the IPL is “frustrating”.
The five-time champions lost their 11th consecutive season opener, going down to Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight wickets on Sunday.
The last time MI won their opening game was way back in 2012, when they defeated Chennai Super Kings.
“This is my ninth season and we haven’t won our opening game. So it’s getting frustrating. At the end of the day, it’s a tough competition. It’s always better to have more wins than losses. It’s a tough way to start,” Bond said at the post-match press conference.
Bond lauded pacer Mohammed Siraj, who bowled a stellar opening spell, giving away just five runs while snaring Ishan Kishan’s wicket.
“Siraj was too good for us today. First three overs from Siraj, he didn’t gave away any width. He used his bouncers beautifully. He gave us nothing to hit, forced us to play some shots and got wickets from it.
“We were 29 for 1 in the powerplay on a good wicket, small ground. We have a long batting order, we tried to up the ante and got to 170. That opening spell was brilliant,” Bond said.
MI batters failed to get going barring Tilak Verma, who scored an unbeaten 84 off 46 balls that helped MI post a respectable 171 for 7.
“Tilak played brilliantly, but he didn’t get much help. I think 170 on a really small ground was not a good total. I think 190 could have been a par total,” said Bond.
“We didn’t bowl well. We knew how important the opening partnership is going to be. We couldn’t break it and failed to apply pressure even,” added Bond.