Cuttack: More than the loss to the Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday, John Wright is worried about missing Lasith Malinga in the remaining matches of IPL VII. Mumbai Indians have four matches left and have to win all if they harbour hopes of making the playoffs.
Malinga played his last match this season as he will be off for national commitments in England.
“We’ve really struggled with our bowling this season. We haven’t played well. It’s not going to be easy without Malinga. But we just have to prepare and do well,” said the Mumbai Indians coach.
Wright admitted that Knight Riders were the deserving winners. “They cleaned us up in all the departments. We needed at least 20 more runs. The bowling struggled in conditions that were difficult for batsmen.
“We needed wickets to keep ourselves in the match. But that didn’t happen. Sadly, we haven’t reached the standards that we had set last year and it’s showing in the results. We needed to win tonight.”
He said that the circumstances were getting tougher with every loss. “The next few matches will be tougher. It’s disappointing, but we have to regroup quickly… We can’t worry about the losses that have already happened…
“This will be an opportunity for the players to play for the franchise… A lot is at stake for the players and they have to deliver,” felt the coach.
Wright agreed that the failure of the openers has only compounded problems. “It’s difficult when the opening combination fails. T20 cricket is such that the top-three batsmen have to deliver. This is something that we have to solve.
“We have players who can manage good starts. We need some consistency in the opening slot. Just look at KKR… The team is a transformed unit since Gambhir has been back among runs. The results are showing.”