'It's just a matter of finding that one win and missing spark to get the campaign back on track, says Mumbai Indians Director of Cricket Zaheer Khan.
Mumbai Indians, the Indian Premier League’s most successful franchise, is struggling this season having suffered four defeats on the trot, but Zaheer Khan, their Director of Cricket, feels it's just a matter of finding that "one win" and missing "spark" to get their campaign back on track.
Khan, however, is aware that a string of defeats could lead to self-doubt among the players.
"There are still 11 league matches to go. We've got to get on a roll. You've seen in this tournament teams get on a losing roll or winning momentum. It's just a matter of (getting the) first win," Zaheer, a former India lead pacer, said.
"At times you get tight as well, you start doubting yourselves in situations where the pressure is highest. So that is something we have to be aware of and look for that spark in the group," he said, at the post-match conference after Mumbai Indians’ seven-wicket defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore in Pune on Saturday.
He said players who have been doing well despite the winless streak "need to carry the team and get us that win which is going to be very important".
"Those back-to-back wins is something which we have to see, but not every day is going to be your day."
Asked why Mumbai Indians, who have won the title five times, have struggled early this season, Khan said his side has not been able to come out on top in "close situations".
“You've got to be able to close those moments of the game where the momentum is shifting. We've, as a team, not been able to do that. So that is something we have to focus on.
"Focus on the positives, whatever the things that have been working for us, keep building on that. It's a long season, so we have to keep things tight and keep getting better.”
Asked what advice he gives the players, especially the bowlers, Khan said, "I've always been endorsing one thing -- in this format you've got to express yourself freely and stay with the game as it unfolds. That is important.
"You have to have situational awareness, and act accordingly when the partnership is going on, as a bowler, who is the aggressor and who is going to have a certain option.
“If you can gauge that with the help of the captain and field placements like that, you can get on top of situations."
On the all-Indian pace attack and fielding only two overseas players against RCB, he said, “We just felt that this combination is going to give us that balance we are looking for. We thought that someone like Unadkat, who has been bowling very well in practice, needed a go."