Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Humble Pie

Well we got belted. No two ways about it, India A proved superior with both bat and ball and the final loss margin: an innings and 98 runs is painful enough reading in itself.

What went wrong? For a start, our boys will never be able to compete in the First class arena against teams that play regular first class cricket unless we have some sort of a set up whereby our players get that same practice. At a basic level, most of our players looked as though they were trying to play one day cricket and just stretching it over multiple days. That will not work. First Class cricket is a different kettle of fish to limited overs cricket. It requires bowlers to work hard to get batsmen out and allows batsmen time in the middle to get settled without feeling they have to score off every shot. It is not something one can adapt to overnight, it takes practice and the team should not be criticised too harshly for not having had this practice. It is not their fault - they have to have a domestic multi-day competition if they are to improve at this format of the game.

Despite the score, positive points do come from the match. Most of the bowlers did eventually get a wicket or two, though India A never looked in too much bother. Not having two of our strongest bowlers in Odoyo and Tikolo certainly made a difference, but the rest need to learn to cope on their own and I feel they are slowly improving. Batting wise, there was a marked improvement between the innings and if they can improve by the same margin again before the next match, we should at the least be competitive. Credit to Collins Obuya for his half century and to Mishra and David Obuya who at least got starts in both innings. Hopefully next match more will do that and more starts will be converted into big scores. India really only had two batsmen that really dominated, but they were able to completely wrest the game away. That in itself should be a lesson.

A painful defeat, but one that can be turned to positives. There is no doubting the talent of Kenya's players; they just need the application to turn that talent into results on the pitch.

Here's hoping match 2 is better for us!

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