We can cause upsets: Kamande

Last Updated: Feb 20, 2011, 00:01 AM IST

Chennai: Kenya may be World Cup rank outsiders but captain Jimmy Kamande and coach Eldine Baptiste on Saturday warned rival teams that they can notch up an upset or two as they had done in the past.

"In this tournament, top 14 countries in the world are competing and nobody should be taken lightly. The results will talk about our performance at the end of the day," Kamande told reporters ahead of Kenya`s first World Cup match against New Zealand here on Sunday.

"We are going to play our brand of cricket that we know best. In all our matches, we are geared up to get good results. We are well organised and prepared. We will enjoy ourselves and not to copy any team," he added.

Echoing the captain`s views, coach Baptiste, a former West Indies player, said Kenya, who are in Group A along with defending champions Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Zimbabwe, can cause a few upsets.

Kenya had scored shock wins over West Indies in 1996 and Sri Lanka in the 2003 edition when the African nation made their lone semifinal appearance.

Asked about the target for his team in the tournament, Baptiste said, "The target is the same. Looking at our group, I have no doubt in mind that we can cause a few upsets. I believe the players will do a disciplined job each game. We will give 110 per cent in batting or bowling or fielding and we can beat anyone in this tournament."

Disagreeing that his team lacks international exposure, Kamande said Kenyan players had been preparing hard for the last few months for the World Cup.

"We have been in India since January preparing for this tournament. All the departments are coming up in good times. I believe our guys will pick up at the right time," he said.

He said the team had learnt a lot from former South African player Jonty Rhodes who is Kenya fielding coach now.

"He is the best in that department. We have learnt a lot from him and the inputs he used to give in all departments of the game like batting, bowling, fielding and mental side have been excellent."

On tomorrow`s match, Kamande said Kenya would play their natural brand of cricket.

"We want to do what we normally do. What I have seen from my side these days are that we have improved on the batting side and on the bowling side they are coming up together. We want to play to our potential and enjoy ourselves and the results will take care of it itself."

Asked whether Kenya fancy their chances tomorrow against New Zealand since the Kiwis have lost many games in the sub-continent, Kamande said it might work other way round and there was nothing to take advantage out of it.

"New Zealand are a good team. They have lost matches. So, I am sure they are going to come very hard at us. They are just wounded lions. There is nothing to take advantage of. We will just go there and express ourselves whether New Zealand or any other teams come our way," he said.

Jonty said since the Kenyans are natural athletes, they could be the best fielding side.

"The team that shows great intensity in fielding besides batting and bowling will move on to the final at the knockout stage. The Kenyans are natural athletes and they could be the best team in terms of fielding."

He said his players are not concerned about the conditions in the sub-continent as they have exposed to similar situations.

"The guys are not too much worried about the heat factor here since they have come from Dubai and been in Colombo. Before that they have spent a few months in Nairobi too. It is fairly summer. We had two tough games in Colombo against the West Indies and the Netherlands. Conditions are very similar to what we are expecting. It does not make any difference to us. If anybody is going to benefit from these conditions here they will be the Kenyan guys," he said.

PTI