Kenya captain Jimmy Kamande has rubbished reports of a rift between his players and their West Indian coach Eldine Baptiste, saying it was just an excuse people were looking for because the team has been performing poorly. On Sunday, Cricket Kenya chief Samir Inamdar had said some of the senior players were not happy with Baptiste, but Kamande said there were no such problems.
"I have read it like you. My team is very, very solid. We all are together as one," he told AFP. "When the team loses, people try to find excuses, but there are none on those lines, just that we haven't performed well so far and will try to do well in the rest of the games."
Kenya lost their opening two games to New Zealand and Pakistan, results that were expected, but it was the margins of victory and the lacklustre performance of Kenya's batsmen that have drawn criticism. They were bowled out for 69 against New Zealand in Chennai, and got to just 112 in their chase against Pakistan in Hambantota. Inamdar said the board was disappointed with the results and wanted the team to at least be competitive against the Test playing nations.
Kamande said there would be changes and his team would try to bounce back by getting the basics right. "We don't want to complicate the game of cricket. Obviously we haven't been on top form, but some changes have to be made; maybe in the batting order. We can't continue doing the same thing."
Things don't get any easier for Kenya, as their next match is against tournament co-hosts and favourites Sri Lanka, on Tuesday at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Sri Lanka lost their last game, against Pakistan, and Kamande said that would put them under pressure.
"Sri Lanka look solid up there, but we have nothing to lose. They are the ones who would be under pressure to perform at home and now obviously having lost to Pakistan it's a must-win game for them. We will try to put some pressure on them and bowl at a nice tight line and length and if we do it will add problems for the Sri Lankan side."
Kenya upset Sri Lanka in the 2003 World Cup, but have lost the other four ODIs they have played against Sri Lanka.