IPL 2022: “We didn’t have the killer instincts to close games off” – Mahela Jayawardene on what went wrong for Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians’ head coach Mahela Jayawardene opined that they have lacked the killer instinct and intensity to finish teams off, leading to a forgettable IPL 2022 season. Jayawardene credited the other teams for playing well under pressure and accepted that Mumbai Indians have issues to sort out.

Five-time champions Mumbai Indians have failed to reach the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Rohit Sharma and Co. have endured a forgettable season and run the risk of finishing eighth in IPL 2022. They will face the Delhi Capitals in their final game of the season.

When Jayawardene was asked what are his takeaways as a coach from this season, he said their aim has always been to bring the players together and play the perfect game. However, he admits things haven’t gone as per plans and highlighted the need for soul searching.

“Well, the learnings for me are how individual players react to situations. I think we had a core group but not like the other years. Other groups have been new to us. As coaches, we always try to understand their capacity, how they perform, their skillsets, and in situational environments, how they react. So, the learnings as a coach are, we note down and try and bring all these people together because the importance is about goals within the group and how they are in the middle, especially who fits into what and how we can execute a perfect game.”

“More often than not, this year, we haven’t done that. As I said, the execution hasn’t been great. We didn’t have the killer instincts to close the game off and lacked the intensity to start well. The other teams were better. Those are the areas we need to improve on. We’ll look at it once we sit down after the season, debrief, and look at each game how and where we need to improve and build from that.”

At one stage, the Mumbai Indians had lost eight consecutive games and picked up their first victory against the Rajasthan Royals. The biggest disappointments have been Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard – both of whom have failed to stand up and play match-defining knocks.

“The two new teams have been consistent because they never had a history” – Mahela Jayawardene

Mumbai Indians' head coach Mahela Jayawardene. (Image Credits: Getty)
Mumbai Indians’ head coach Mahela Jayawardene. (Image Credits: Getty)

Mumbai Indians’ head coach Jayawardene further recognized that the new teams – Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans – performing well is a significant trend. The Sri Lankan legend feels that the two new teams don’t have any baggage from previous seasons.

“I haven’t thought about as a neutral because since we are part of the franchise, we are always trying to figure out the trends of other teams and how we can improve as a team. But I think the trend I’ve observed is that two teams (Gujarat and Lucknow) have gelled together in the sense that roles individuals have played, guys have put their hand up and did well in tough situations. I think sometimes the way you play over a particular period of time would change with the auction and new players coming in. Sometimes, it’s difficult to play the same way and you have to find new ways of adapting to the situations.”

“For me, it’s clear that the two new teams have been consistent because they never had a past history. It’s about individuals getting together and playing their cricket and falling into the brand. It’s a new brand they have played so that’s been a clear indicator for me as a coach analysing how the season has gone. So, the teams that have already been in the IPL and squads who have played a certain brand of cricket had to improvise and do differently to compete and we did this season and going forward as well.”

Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians played a thrilling game earlier in the tournament when the former prevailed by snatching a win from the jaws of defeat.

Edited by Akshay Saraswat

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