Friday, July 21, 2006

D-Day For Selection As Tikolo Set To Join Squad

Both the Standard and Nation report this morning that team captain, Steve Tikolo, is due back in Kenya on Sunday to join the rest of the squad before they leave for Canada on Wednesday. Cricket Kenya CEO Tom Tikolo is also quoted as saying that Hitesh Modi will fly straight to Toronto from the UK should he be selected. After their heroics in the last game, it will no doubt boost team moral to have them back again this time around.
For the rest of the squad, today is the day that many have been waiting for after a month of intensive training under Coach Harper. While there are a few slots in the side that are automatic picks, I would say that at least half of the places in the final squad have been up for grabs. It will be interesting to see who has caught the eye of the selectors over the last month. From the information I have available, and taking past performance into account, my final squad would look like this:
My Definite Selections:
Steve Tikolo (Cpt). Obvious choice. Bat/spin.
Thomas Odoyo (V.Cpt). Automatic selection. Bat/Seam.
Hitesh Modi. Past performance and experience get him in. Bat.
Peter Ongondo. Automatic pick on his bowling performances so far this year. Seam.
Kennedy Obuya. May be some doubts about fitness, a better choice than the other options available at the moment. Wkt/opening Bat.
Tanmay Mishra. Has done enough in the ODIs earlier to warrant a place. Bat
Collins Obuya. Possibly more for his batting than bowling. Bat/spin.
Nehemiah Odhiambo. Seems to be showing constant signs of improvement. Seam
Brijal Patel. Done enough to warrant selection. Possible opening partner to Kennedy. Bat/spin
Rajesh Bhudhia. It is difficult to pick from the younger bowlers, but will go with him on performance in the last Intercontinental Cup match. Seam.
There are then a couple of places I'm unsure about, simply as I have no idea how the players went in training. To complete the squad, I believe we need another player from each discipline: Batsman, Spinner, Seamer. Also a reserve Wicket Keeper.
Spinner between:
Stewart Kayne, Hiren Variaya, Rashmi Gami, Jimmy Kamande, Jadhavji Laxman.
Seamer between:
Kalpesh Patel, Ashish Karia, Rageb Aga (if available), Josephat Ababu and Tony Suji.
Batsman between:
Malhar Patel, Jimmy Kamande, Stewart Kayne, Jadhavji Jeshani, Amit Bhudia, possibly Tony Suji.
Wicket keeper/Batsman between:
Timothy Muange, Alex Obanda, possibly Maurice Ouma.
There were also a couple of players mentioned in the provisional squad who I do not know enough about to put forward.

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