Deccan Chargers coach Darren Lehmann today said the defending champions need to improve in all areas of the game to stay in hunt for a semifinal berth in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
"We have lost three in a row after winning three in a row. It's a big game tomorrow obviously. Mumbai (Indians) is in really good form," said the former Australian player on the eve of their eighth round clash against the hosts.
"We had some good signs yesterday. We batted a lot better than in the previous two games though we have to improve on our all round game," said Lehmann.
The holders had started their defence on a losing note against Kolkata Knight Riders on March 12 before regrouping to notch three straight wins.
But then came the slump that saw them losing to 2008 winners Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians and the Knight Riders yesterday which pushed them down to the seventh spot in the table going into tomorrow return match against the Sachin Tendulkar-led Mumbai.
Lehmann pointed out that in the teams' previous clash, which was their home tie at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, Deccan had come close to restricting Mumbai to a total of around 140 before Harbhajan Singh took the game away with his blistering 18-ball 49 not out.
"We should have played well against Mumbai last time when he had them at 7 for 120. Then Harbhajan got something like 50 off 20 balls. We should have finished that game off if we had kept Mumbai at 140," Lehmann said.
The key was to do well in all three departments instead of doing them in bits and pieces, according to the former Australian batsman.
"At the moment we are doing bits and pieces well but need to gel all three - batting, bowling and fielding - together. We are looking to improve in all areas," he said.
Lehmann felt the team's batting, despite having big guns in captain Adam Gilchrist and Andrew Symonds, has not clicked, as no one has stayed on to play a big innings.
"Our whole batting in general has been disappointing. We only have had a highest score of 55 or 56. Someone needs to score big and if it happens we would make a big total. That's what we are trying to do as a batting group. We want someone to bat through and make a big score," he said.
Asked whether the team had a Plan B for in-form Mumbai great Sachin Tendulkar, Lehmann shot back in lighter vein "If you have one, then tell me".
On a more serious note he said the team has chalked up plans for Tendulkar who is in great form and was hoping they will click.
"He's obviously in great form. We bowled reasonably well to him last time. We have obviously some plans. It's a case of taking the opportunity with both hands if he gives us a chance," Lehmann said about the champion batsman.
The team has worked out strategies for Harbhajan as well when he comes to bowl on a wicket that may suit the Indian
spin spearhead a bit, Lehmann indicated.
"He batted well last time, but hopefully these days don't come often. But he's a quality bowler. He's got lot of wickets in all forms. We are aware of that.
"He's in good form with the ball. Looks like the pitch will suit him a little bit. Having said that we have some strategies for him," he said.
Asked about likely changes in the playing eleven, Lehmann said Australian Ryan Harris has flown in last night and would be in the reckoning depending upon how well he has recovered from the long journey from New Zealand.
"He's pulled up pretty well. He flew in last night he is in good form. Should be in with a chance to play. (VVS) Laxman is always in the reckoning. He's one of the class players of all time for India," the Deccan coach said.
Lehmann also defended the Indian international players in his team - Rohit Sharma, R P Singh and Pragyan Ojha - and said they had worked hard but could be a bit short on confidence.