Kiwis look to have field day
The prospect of spending a Sunday watching New Zealand take on Kenya in a World Cup group league match may not sound exciting, but if you are a fan of good fielding, you could be in for a treat.cricket Updated: Feb 20, 2011 00:03 IST
The prospect of spending a Sunday watching New Zealand take on Kenya in a World Cup group league match may not sound exciting, but if you are a fan of good fielding, you could be in for a treat.
Both teams know if there is one aspect in which they can match, or even outstrip other teams in the world, then it is fielding. So be prepared for athletic stops, diving catches and hard chases to the boundary.
Kenya's South African fielding coach Jonty Rhodes, who made headlines for his fielding with his airborne run out of Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq in the 1992 World Cup, said as much.
"Tomorrow, you will see a couple of guys (who have the potential to be the best fielders of this World Cup) from both teams," Rhodes said on Saturday.
"New Zealand are known to put in some great work in the field. And the Kenyans have shown me they are not scared of diving around,” added the former SA batsman.
"There are a couple of guys in the Kenyan team who I think can win gold in the Olympics in 800m. The guys are fit, they are natural athletes."
The match timings may affect the electric fielding though. A day match means the players will have to sweat it out in the heat of this port city.
"Well, the Kenyan guys won't worry too much about the heat, they've spent a bit of time in India.”
“We've just come from Dubai and been in Colombo. And if you've spent a few months in Nairobi, as I have recently, you work up a pretty good sweat there. It's fairly similar (to Chennai)," Rhodes said.
"New Zealand are the ones who might struggle.
And New Zealand in the summer, well it's a bit like saying Chennai has a winter; (the city) doesn't really have a winter does it?
"So if anybody's going to benefit from the conditions then it is going to be the Kenyan guys."
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori is fit to play Sunday's match against Kenya, but off-spinner Nathan McCullum may not be risked as he recovers from high fever.
"I've come through some fitness tests and felt good today and I trained fully. No problems playing tomorrow," Vettori said, when asked about his groin injury.
"Nathan just got back from the hospital this morning and joined a light session. We are reasonably confident he can take part in tomorrow's match but we don't want to take any risks given how long the tournament is," added the left-arm tweaker.
McCullum was admitted to hospital on Thursday night with high fever, probably caused by food poisoning.