Dejection writ large on his face, Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma on Saturday said they are not playing to their potential as the defeat against Delhi capitals made their road to IPL Play-offs tougher.
The defending champions lost by four wickets against DC to stay in sixth place and they now need not only win their remaining two games but also hope for favourable results from other matches.
Rohit counted himself among the batting failures this season as MI yet again settled for a below-par score of 129 for 7 and could not defend it.
"If your batters aren't going to post runs on the board, it will be difficult to win games. I personally accept that. We're not able to execute in the middle, which is particularly disappointing," Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
"We are not playing to our potential. Hopefully in the next two games, we play the way we are known for."
Rohit said they knew that Sharjah "will be a difficult venue" and prepared in the best possible manner.
"We watched a lot of matches, and it's not the easiest venues to play and make a lot of runs. We were well prepared and we knew what we had to do," he said.
"I thought we didn't bat well enough. We knew it wasn't a 170-180 wicket, but we knew it was a 140 wicket. We just didn't get the partnerships going."
Capitals captain Rishabh Pant conceded that it was a hard-fought victory.
"In Sharjah, the wicket always plays differently. We were planning to bowl mostly the fast bowlers in the powerplay. Easier for the spinner in these tracks. I held back one over of Ashwin to keep him away from Pollard and Hardik.
"Avesh is the find of the season for us, but at Delhi Capitals, we learn from our mistakes and pick up. We have to solidify our batting."
He said (Marcus) Stoinis should be fine in a few days and that will be good for the team.
"You can't always go for it, but someone has to be aggressive in the powerplay."
Former DC captain Shreyas Iyer was a happy man, having played a crucial role in a successful chase with an unbeaten 33-run knock.
"I felt really amazing to bat through and take my team through. It was a low scoring game. I backed myself and my instincts. I knew I would win the game for the team," he said.
His partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin came under pressure and Iyer was all praise for his senior teammate.
"He (Ashwin) came in and was really positive. He wanted to take singles, and that went to the last two overs. He decided he would take the bowlers on during the last two overs," he said.
Iyer also said that his team has worked hard on transforming itself.
"The transition in the last two years has happened. Since 2019, we have shifted that towards our team. We try to implement that within the dressing room. We try to be humble, and we try to ensure whoever's day it is, he makes sure the team wins the game.
"Once we are in these close games, we have to finish them. Every two points matter. If we finish in the top two, we have that opportunity to play that one game and make the final," he said.