Mahela Jayawardene was careful to avoid knee-jerk reactions after Mumbai Indians sank to their lowest-ever IPL total, but the head coach was stern, nevertheless, in asking his players to take more responsibility. Having lost four out of five matches, Mumbai needed to start doing what they do best - rack up the wins after a bad start - at the earliest. Instead, they put up their worst batting performance of the season, at a venue where they had never previously lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad.
"We have put ourselves in this situation, there is no one else to blame," Jayawardene said. "Some of the matches we lost, I thought we played good cricket, they could have gone either way. (But) today was very disappointing. We just probably played the wicket thinking there is going to be demons out there. We just had to knock it around. We did not take any responsibility, so that part was quite disappointing. The dew came in as we expected, after 10 overs. No one took responsibility; that is quite sad."
Just how badly Mumbai struggled was best illustrated by Hardik Pandya's pained stay at the crease. Burdened by a mounting asking rate on a slow pitch, Pandya's situation was worsened by the loss of wickets at the other end, which eventually required him to bat with the tail. It resulted in a maiden for Rashid Khan in the 17th over, with Pandya either refusing the single or failing to find gaps. Then, in the 18th over, Siddarth Kaul offered up similar lengths to Pandya three times in a row. Pandya swiped across the line on each occasion, missing twice and getting a leading edge to third man the third time around.
"That is how we have worked with him (Hardik) from beginning of this season and pre-season as well," Jayawardene said. "We knew that there will be people bowling with different level because we analyse other opposition, we do anaylse our guys, and we give them information.
"Every year you can't bat the same way. If people don't evolve and improve, there is no progress. Young guys like Hardik will learn that and need to work harder; the talent alone will not get you, leading the game and thinking about the game, that's the part they need to keep learning, and especially with international good bowlers coming and doing various things, you have to evolve. Otherwise, you won't be able to be consistent."
Pandya may have been inconsistent with the bat, but he has come good as a bowler on a few occasions. Kieron Pollard's case is worse. He hasn't contributed with the ball this season. In fact, since the 2016 IPL, Pollard has totaled 7.5 overs. With the bat, he rarely comes out with more than five or six overs remaining. This season, Pollard has cobbled together 63 runs off 57 balls at 110.52 - a poor strike-rate for someone who usually bats in the death overs.
"He is struggling a little bit, but we trusted with the system," Jayawardene said. "You need to trust your players, you can't chop and change just because you don't fire. You have to go with that structure, and yes, eventually as a coach, I will have to make some calls, which I have to think about. It is too early for me; I need 24 hours to think about what happened today and not be emotional about it."