Minnows Kenya keen to play against mighty Australia

March 12th, 2011 - 9:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, March 12 (IANS) Kenya remain unfazed despite four consecutive defeats in this World Cup and are keen to play against defending champions Australia in their Group A match at the Chinnaswamy stadium Sunday.

“Playing against a strong team like Australia is a great opportunity for us. We will go out and play positive cricket irrespective of the outcome,” Kenyan skipper Jimmy Kamande told reporters here.

Playing their fifth World Cup after debuting on the world stage in 1996, the East Africans have been training hard to ensure that the match is not another one-sided affair.

“We are aware that our performance in this series has not been up to the mark. We haven’t been able to play to our potential as in the previous World Cups. We still have one more match to go (against Zimbabwe March 19 in Kolkata) to improve a lot,” an upbeat Kamande said before getting into the stadium for a hard practice session.

Kenya, which shocked West Indies at Pune with a 73-run win during the 1996 World Cup in the sub-continent, have two most experienced players in Thomos Odoyo and 41-year-old star batsman Steve Tikolo.

“Though we couldn’t win in the league matches so far, it has been a very learning experience for us to improve upon. This tournament is a stepping stone for Kenyan cricket, which is still young but promising,” Kamande pointed out.

Even as minnows, Kenya caused a sensation in the 2003 World Cup series reaching the semi-finals by defeating Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe after they got a walkover when New Zealand and West Indies refused to play in the league matches due to political tensions then.

“We will take back home what we gain from here and try to improve our performance in all departments of the game. We learn playing against world class teams and gain a lot of experience. Every game is a step towards building the team,” Kamande pointed out.

Admitting that the loss to Canada had hurt the team most, the captain said they were disappointed to have missed the best chance to win a game in this World Cup.

“But now Canada is history. You’ve got to move forward. We’ve got the Australia match ahead and that is what we are looking at,” he said.

Noting that the form of the top order was a cause for concern, Kamande hoped the boys would fire Sunday though they would be facing some of the fastest pacers in the Aussies team.

“Hopefully, the guys will regroup and try to win. You can’t have just one performer in a match and expect to win,” he added.

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