Kiwis look to soar high against Kenya

Feb. 18: For all purposes, the New Zealand-Kenya match could be a one-way traffic. But Kenya skipper Steve Tikolo begs to differ. The African side has always been a competitive side and it remains to be seen if the hard yards they have put in for this World Cup becomes fruitful.

“We have turned a corner. We suffered when a lot of players from our 2003 squad retired. So it has taken some time for us to rebuild the unit. Ours is a young side but competent as well. We have prepared adequately. The tour to South Africa and the camp in Gujarat proved useful. We are ready both physically and mentally,” said Tikolo.

New Zealand have not enjoyed their best run of late. Senior members have conceded the team is facing a confidence crisis. Despite their recent record the Kiwis start favourites against Kenya. “They are a superior team and have quality players such as Daniel Vettori, Ross Taylor and the McCullum brothers. But we have analysed their videos extensively. We hope to play some positive cricket and execute our plans well,” said Tikolo who will become the first player from the African continent to play in five World Cups.

Kiwi opener Martin Guptill admitted the heavy defeat to India in the warm-up match has hit the team hard. “There was a loss of confidence. I am sure we can bounce back from there. We are looking forward to the first game.” To take a side lightly at the start of a World Cup has led to the downfall of many big guns.

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