Central Stags captain Kieran Noema Barnett isn't ducking for cover.
He knows his side is under-performing in this season's national Twenty20 cricket competition, but he insists it's not for a lack of trying.
"We're not playing well, simple as that. Until we put on a complete performance, we'll keep on getting the results we've been getting," he said ahead of tomorrow's match against competition leaders, the Otago Volts at New Plymouth's Pukekura Park.
"We just haven't put it all together. We've played well in patches, so it's not all doom and gloom. But it's time to start winning . . . that fact isn't lost on anyone, especially the players."
Finding a winning formula against the Volts won't be easy.
The southern side has a formidable batting lineup spearheaded by Hamish Rutherford, Aaron Redmond, Neil Broom, Ryan ten Doerchate and Michael Bracewell.
Heading the pace attack are Neil Wagner, James McMillan, Jacob Duffy and Sam Wells, while Nick Beard (left-arm) and Mark Craig (right-arm) are the spin options.
Noema Barnett said there was no "magical" answer to recapturing winning form.
"We want to win all our games for sure, but first we have to look after the first one on Sunday," he said after a long session in the nets.
"We haven't been very good for our New Plymouth supporters or ourselves. It's a bit embarrassing really."
Noema Barnett said he, like all of his team-mates, needed to improve.
"I'm working on my batting. I need to get better. I'm searching for runs. I just need to relax more," he said.
"It's the same with my bowling. I got a pounding the other day [he was belted for 25 off one over including four consecutive fours against the Auckland Aces]. I've been bowling well. The batsmen are always looking to get after you in Twenty20 games. I'll bounce back."
Stags' fans will be hoping Noema Barnett and his team-mates do exactly that, otherwise it's going to be another painful afternoon on the terraces.
The Stags have named 12 for the match, with Bevan Small released to play for Central Districts A at the national tournament in Christchurch.
HOW THEY LINE UP
What: CD Stags v Otago Volts Twenty20
When: Tomorrow, 4pm
Where: Pukekura Park
Central Districts (from): Jamie How, Peter Trego, Josh Cobb, Carl Cachopa, Kieran Noema Barnett (captain), Kruger van Wyk, William Young, Jacob Oram, Marty Kain, Tarun Nethula, Doug Bracewell, Ben Wheeler. Coach, Heinrich Malan; assistant coach, Lance Hamilton
Otago Volts (from): Neil Broom, Hamish Rutherford, Aaron Redmond, Ryan ten Doerchate, Derek de Boorder, Michael Bracewell, James McMillan, Jacob Duffy, Neil Wagner, Nick Beard, Mark Craig, Sam Wells. Coach, Vaughn Johnson
- Taranaki Daily News
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