Kenya Vs Australia
Starting time: 2:30 pm IST
Bangalore, March 12: Only rain could come in the way of the Australian juggernaut this World Cup as the four-time champions bid to wrest the trophy again began on a very strong note. Now they are faced with the most beleaguered side of the tournament that has managed no wins from four matches. Kenya however, may be looking to put on a better show, at least for the sake of pride, when they take on the might of the Aussies in Bangalore on Sunday.
Australia however, have been impossible to beat so far where the Kenyans are concerned. The men from Down Under have won all the four encounters against the under-dogs, their last victory coming in ther 2003 World Cup, when Kenya went down by 5 wickets with 112 balls to spare. Brett Lee took an incisive 3/14 on that occasion and will undoubtedly pose an old demon to the Kenyans again in the upcoming encounter.
Kenya's list of batting averages in this World Cup has been as dismal as their overall performance with Tanmay Mishra the lone figure of inspiration with a 51 from one innings. Aside from him, wicket-keeper/one-down batsman Collins Obuya has been thye most consistent batsman for his side with a less than intimidating average of 36.00. Five other premier batsman have collectively been averaging about 50 a match which is certainly not saying much about their prowess with the willow in their hand.
In contrast, Australia's batting is going great guns with Shane Watson leading the chart at an average of 70.50, followed Cameron White (44.00), Brad Haddin (42.00) and Michael Clarke (41.00). These will be the key men for Australia, not just in the match against Kenya, but in the whole tournament.
But even more mind-boggling has been the potency of their bowling with Mitchell Johnson taking 8 wickets from 2-and-a-half matches at an average of 8.37 runs to the wicket and Shaun Tait with 6 scalps at an average of 15.33. Brett Lee who has been bowling fairly tight has come in for less success, taking just one wicket from each of his three matches at an average of 30.00.
Meanwhile, there isn't much to say about the Kenyan bowling. Their best bowler - seamer Thomas Odoyo - is averaging 28.00 followed by his new-ball partner Elijah Otieno, at an expensive 46.00. The rest of the Kenya bowlers have fared even worse.
It doesn't matter whether Australia bats or bowls first - either way, the Kenyans are set to get comprehensively beaten. The Africans' challenge however, should be to at least attempt at staving off defeat for as long as possible and stretching Australia till the end...