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World Cup preparation on right track: Kenya Coach Baptiste

Ahmedabad: Kenya cricket team coach Eldine Baptiste on Friday said his squad has attained much needed balance with the inclusion of senior players, and their preparation for the forthcoming World Cup was on right track.

The Kenya team is here for a warm-up session before the mega event beginning next month. They would be playing five one-day matches - three against Gujarat and two against Baroda Ranji teams - in Ahmedabad and Vadodara respectively.

"This (Gujarat) is the ideal place to start our warm up matches before the World Cup. By playing practice matches here we would get an idea of what we would be facing during the World Cup," Baptiste told mediapersons here.

He said his team had finished training in South Africa recently. "Now that our senior players like Stephen Tikolo and Thomas Odoyo have joined us, the squad has become very balanced. Also, with training in South Africa followed by warm up matches here, I think our World Cup preparation was heading in the right direction."

Asked about the Sachin Tendulkar factor, Baptiste said, "He has done so much in the Tests and the ODIs that whatever he will do now, it will not be a surprise. Also, playing at home he is the best."

Kenyan captain James Kamande said all problems of strikes and differences within the team have been sorted out and players are now in a positive frame of mind.

"We would be concentrating on all-round performance of the team and not on any single aspect. The important thing is to play aggressively," Kamande said.

Tikolo, who was part of the squad that beat the West Indians in a low-scoring match in the 1996 World Cup, said his team has benefited from the training is South Africa.

"Cricket is not a one-man game; its a team effort and at present our team is doing well."

Asked if his team was looking forward to create upsets like they did in 1996, Tikolo said, "We are here to compete. The World Cup is not about creating upsets, it is about being competitive. Our first goal is to reach the second round and then from there we shall think forward."

The Kenyan team will be in Gujarat till January 19.

PTI

From Zee News

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