Sydney Sixers all-rounder Steve Smith says his side need a change in attitude if they want to have any chance of defending their Big Bash League title.
The Sixers – who host the Hobart Hurricanes on Boxing Day – backed up their success with victory in the Champions League Twenty20 in October as they were crowned champions of the world.
But after winning their opener in the new BBL season against cross-town rivals Sydney Thunder, the Sixers have lost to the Perth Scorchers, Melbourne Stars and Adelaide Strikers and dropped to seventh on the table.
With Mitchell Starc either on national duty or rested and fellow quicks Patrick Cummins and Josh Hazlewood injured, the SCG-based team have lacked bowling firepower this campaign.
English batsman Michael Lumb, who represented Sydney last year and in the Champions League, will link up with the squad for the match against the Hurricanes and is likely to slot in immediately at the top of the order.
But Smith was not in a mood to make excuses for the side's poor start to the competition.
"We haven't played good cricket the last few games, and it's an attitude thing that needs to change," Smith said.
"We need to come out and be more positive, play more freely and look like we're having fun. The last few games we've shied away from that a bit and paid the price.
"We've lost a few good players, our fast-bowling stocks are down, and we don't have the same depth in our batting.
"Our fielding last year was a big part (of our success). We scraped home because of our fielding, and that's an attitude thing.
"But we do have Michael Lumb coming back this game, and that will give us a chance to have another batter at the top of the order. We're 1-3. We need to play some good cricket."
Sydney entered the second edition of the Big Bash League as favourites while Hobart were also highly fancied.
But after defeating the Brisbane Heat by eight wickets, successive defeats to the Melbourne Stars and the Melbourne Renegades had the Hurricanes in danger of missing the semi-finals.
They responded with a 30-run win against the struggling Sydney Thunder in the home comforts of the Blundstone Arena, with Ricky Ponting's 63-run knock crucial.
And Smith is well-aware how important the dismissal of Ponting will be.
"He (Ponting) is one bloke we need to target and get rid of early," he said.
The Sixers have added youngsters Kurtis Patterson and Daniel Hughes to their 13-man squad, while the inclusion of Lumb could be crucial.
Sri Lankan Jeevan Mendis has finished his commitments with the Sixers while all-rounder Ian Moran has not been included.
Hobart have made two enforced changes, with Scott Boland and Jon Wells replacing New Zealand international Scott Styris (existing domestic commitments) and Evan Gulbis (hamstring) in their squad.
Sydney Sixers squad: Brad Haddin (c), Luke Feldman, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Josh Lalor, Brett Lee, Michael Lumb, Sunil Narine, Stephen O'Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Dan Smith, Steve Smith, Dominic Thornely
Hobart Hurricanes squad: George Bailey (c), Aiden Blizzard, Scott Boland, Doug Bollinger, Travis Birt, Xavier Doherty, Michael Hogan, Jason Krejza, Ben Laughlin, Tim Paine, Ricky Ponting, Owais Shah, Jon Wells
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 26 December, 2012 12:03PM AEST