Thursday, January 26, 2006

Who should be in the Kenya Squad

With Cricket Kenya today due to announce the squad to face Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in March, I thought it would be appropriate to put in my 2 bits.
Captain: Steve Tikolo - this is fairly obvious. He has the experience, tactics, leadership and skill, and will, I'm assuming still be around for the World Cup.
Other fairly automatic choices would be:
Kennedy Otieno, Martin Suji, Collins Obuya, Ravindu Shah (if he is fit) and Thomas Odoyo. Hitesh Modi would also make it despite memories of his tortured innings vs Canada at the last World cup.
The above players I feel are the cornerstone of Kenyan cricket at present, and could not justifiably be left out.
In regards to up-and-coming players I would like to see get a run, the three players who were at the training camp in RSA would probably be favorites. Nehemiah Ngoche, Alfred Luseno & Kalpesh Patel will all have benefited hugely from the experience, and for the camp to have had any point at all, they must now be allowed to translate that to International level. An added bonus from this is if Luseno has learnt to use his speed to good effect. Kenya's bowling line up desperately needs someone who can worry batsman with pace, and if reports are correct, he may well be our man.
Going on form in the recently concluded Twenty-20 series, Jimmy Kamande does come up as a possible batsman and part time bowler. However, despite good recent good form with the bat domestically, his past International record may count against him. Mepani also had a great Twenty-20 season, but I don't know enough about him (i.e is he a Kenyan or expat, how old etc), to really do more than put his name in the ring.
The Zimbabwe tour at the end of last year, and the Intercontinental matches also throw up a couple of names: Maurice Ouma is definitely a batsman with lots of potential, but needs to turn his starts into big innings. He has shown he can do it, but needs to make this a regular occurrence. If Ravindu is unavailable, he would almost certainly be picked to open alongside Otieno. Bowlers from these events provoke a bit of a conundrum. Apart from Tikolo and Odoyo, the next best form these tours would probably be Ongondo or Onyango, but while both returned good results in some matches, they could also be a bit wayward. That said, both probably did enough to prompt a go ahead of Ababu, despite the latter's recent form in Twenty-20.
Rageb Aga is a player we have not seen enough of recently, and should make it into the squad, although hopefully he will not be used higher up the order again!
While the above players would be my most likely picks, there are plenty of others the selectors can choose to add depth, youth or experience to the side.
More on this later, but for now I need to get to an Australia Day BBQ - Got to keep the friends and Mrs happy!

1 comment:

Stu said...

Nice post. You do well to keep up with Kenyan Cricket is such detail, from Sydney! Hope you enjoy(ed) the BBQ!