Preview: Kiwis Keen To Regain Momentum Against Kenya




New Zealand Cricket

New Zealand Cricket

The Black Caps under their newly-appointed coach John Wright, would be looking to get out of their slumber, having lost 14 of their last 17 one-day international matches. The match against Kenya would be the perfect opportunity to do so, provided they don’t fall victims to the slow and ‘not-so-bowler-friendly’ Chennai wicket.

Also Read: Bangladesh Vs India, World Cup 2011 – India Wins By 87 Runs

They have been admitting their weakness in coping with the sub-continent conditions, particularly against spin, which was quite evident in a warm-up game against India that they lost by 117 runs.

New Zealand have come to this World Cup with three consecutive bilateral ODI series defeats at the hands of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, so the need to show some intent is inevitable. On top of that they seemed to be in a doubtful frame of mind, going by the remarks made by Brendon McCullum on Friday that a confidence crisis is dogging the team after their meek surrender to Indian spin bowling.

All said and done, the New Zealanders will still start as favourites against the Kenyans on Sunday. With John Wright, who is quite accustomed to the sub-continent conditions, it should ideally be an easy win for them.

The Kenyan side though has a reputation of causing upsets and the Kiwis should keep this in mind and not at any point of the match get complacent. The African nation had shocked West Indies on their debut in the 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup at Pune and had an unbelievable victory over Sri Lanka in 2003 to make their lone semi-final appearance.
Since then, however, Kenyan cricket has been on a down slide, besieged by problems in domestic set-up.

The Kenyan team is full of fresh faces which includes opener Seren Waters who scored an unbeaten 126 against the Netherlands in a warm-up match, though in vain as they ultimately lost the match. Fellow opener Alex Obanda is one of the most exciting young batsmen to come out of Kenya in a while. His shots are as flamboyant as his frosted hairstyle. They would be banking on the experienced all-rounder Tikolo and medium-pacer Thomas Odoyo, both of whom are playing in their fifth ICC Cricket World Cup. Their bowling line-up includes four spinners and is completely in tune with the sub-continent conditions. Besides Tikolo, newly appointed captain James Kamande and Shem Ngoche would be their main strike bowlers.

The Kiwis would definitely be concerned about their bowling line-up. Their pace attack led by Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram and Tim Southee is a suspect against stroke makers on the sub-continent pitches. The spin department also lacks depth which will be spearheaded by Captain Daniel Vettori.

The World Cup is Daniel Vettori’s last international series as captain; he would like to leave a lasting impression. They will be the team the minnows are targeting in this group and in order to restore self belief they could do with a solid win under their belts.

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Nupoor Bansal

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Hey, I'm Nupoor Bansal, 20, currently pursuing Journalism from DU. I have always been immensely interested in both playing and watching sports. Like most other cricket fanatics Sachin Tendulkar is THE God for me. Badminton, Tennis and Football are the other sports that interest me.

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