WC 2003 - Patil down plays Kenya, Wright not to fall for tactics

Published: Friday, March 7, 2003, 2:22 [IST]
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Cape Town: Kenyan coach Sandeep Patil on Thursday said while his team had made a big statement by qualifying for the Super Sixes of the World Cup, it realistically stood no chance against India on Friday.Patil, a member of India's World Cup winning squad in 1983, said India was a vastly superior side and a much more accomplished unit in all aspects Of the game."I watched Sachin Tendulkar in full flow against Pakistan on television but ideally I would not be reminded about it nor would I like my boys to see that innings, lest it affects their confidence," said Patil.The way Patil went raving about the Indian side, particularly Tendulkar many, including Indian coach John Wright, feel it could be a tactic by the extremely shrewd Kenyan coach to distract the Indian players."In my view, Tendulkar should not be allowed to play on this planet," Patil said. "The Indians have a trump card in him who is at his sublime best presently.""They have an excellent batting line-up, a good seam attack and they also seem to be fielding well. Also, whatever I have seen of youngsters, they seem to be moulding well within the unit," he said.Patil, though, had no qualms about plotting the downfall of his own country and said his team would do all it can to defeat India on Friday. "I would definitely like to beat it. Me and my boys are looking forward to it," he said. "But realistically, I think everyone knows what the Indian side is and what Kenyan team is," Patil said. India is the only Test-playing nation to have lost to Kenya twice, the latest being in Port Elizabeth in a tri-nation series two years ago.However, Patil felt the past strategy of frustrating the Indian batsmen with slow medium pace might not work this time. "It was a strategy which worked well in Port Elizabeth two years ago but it might not be the case this time around. We need to be pragmatic and have an open mind about thecontest," he said while also expressing concern about his team's batting."If you ask me, our batting is our strong point. Unfortunately, it hasn't clicked so far. I feel on Friday could be the day when our batters play true to expectations.Kenyan captain Steve Tikolo was also pleased with his side's performance, saying it reached the Super Six not because of New Zealand's forfeit but because it won three of its league matches."It's been pleasant for us to meet the goal of qualifying for the second round," said Tikolo. "People who talk about forfeited game and four points (by New Zealand) should also remember that we won three games in the league stage." Tikolo chose the occasion to underline the point that Kenya, more than Bangladesh, perhaps needed to qualify as a Test nation. "I don't want to compare ourselves with Bangladesh but having said that, I feel we are a better side. It's time ICC looks into our status," he said.Patil cautioned his own team to be alert to the challenges ahead rather than bask in their glory of having qualified for the Super Sixes. "We set out for Super Sixes and we have achieved it but the job is not over. We need to give off our best in the next three games," he said.Kenya's performance, Patil said, was a positive point of reference for the weaker teams in the competition and a statement they didn't do too badly in this World Cup."Somehow teams like Canada, Namibia, Holland and Kenya also are always considered minnows. But these teams had their moments in this World Cup and the world should appreciate it." "We have played only 18 One-day games since 1999 World Cup and qualified for the Super Six round in this competition. This point needs to be appreciated."Tikolo said he would not be playing Friday's game with a sense of revenge as the Indians had refused to entertain them for a short visit immediately after the ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka last September."We were disappointed but the things were out of our control. Now one of the things we need from the ICC and other Test-playing nations is to give us more games. "Given a chance we can hold our ground as we have shown in this World Cup." PTI

Indians not to take it easy against giant-killer Kenya

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