Kolkata: Kenya`s outing in the ongoing World Cup has been a far cry from their showings in the 2003 edition in South Africa, where they made a surprise semi-final appearance, and veteran batsman Steve Tikolo felt it was inexperience that did them in.
"We have a very young side and some are making their World Cup debut. In that respect, there was no experience at all. But it is something I believe that we can correct," Tikolo said after playing his last ODI.
Going back to the 2003 edition, he said the players knew each other`s strengths and weaknesses.
"Looking at 2003, when we made the semifinals, the team had gelled really well. We were together since 1996 World Cup, and knew each other`s strength and weaknesses. We had played a lot of matches against tough nations including Test sides. We were playing good cricket all along," Tikolo said.
Things, however, changed for the worse since that dream run eight years ago.
"We no longer play top teams and it becomes difficult when you play a team once in nine years. We last played Pakistan in 2004, Australia in 2003, South Africa in 2008 or 09. Then when you meet them in these tournaments it does not do good for your confidence.”
"The top teams are playing against each other very often so it becomes easier. They know each other`s games," he pointed out after his team`s 161-run loss to Zimbabwe.
Tikolo admitted that Kenya were outclassed by the opponent in every department.
"We did not put up good performance at all. We did not bowl well and gave away too many runs. When we came into bat we lost wickets at regular intervals. All in all it was very disappointing."
Giving full credit to the Zimbabweans he said, "They are a better side. Though they are not playing five-day cricket at the moment, they are a Test playing nation.”
"They have the facilities and the set-up. Currently, I am playing domestic cricket there. I think the league structure is very good there," he signed off.