Kenya allrounder Collins Obuya has called on his team to step up after a series of losses in their preparation for the 2011 World Cup. Kenya have lost their previous seven ODIs and finished last in the World Cricket League Division One in the Netherlands. They were also beaten in each game they played against Indian domestic sides Gujarat Cricket Association XI and Baroda Cricket Association XI in Nairobi.
Obuya, however, has been one of Kenya's more consistent performers in this lean phase. "We need to work harder and if it all goes well and if we keep doing the right things and in the best way possible, we should be alright. However, I am so happy that I am managing to get runs on the board and my confidence has come back."
Obuya won a memorable game for Kenya in the 2003 World Cup against Sri Lanka, where he grabbed a five-for with his leg-spin. Getting a win under their belt to break the losing trend, he said, was crucial to restoring the team's confidence.
"We need to start winning matches as that will give us confidence," said Obuya. "We need to see batsmen getting runs and staying at the wicket for longer while the bowlers need to bowl much better. If this can be achieved, then I have no doubt we will do well.
"There's so much talent and potential in the team but a lot needs to be done on an individual level. We need to continuously strive to get better as well. The team needs to get cohesion and the young players need to be encouraged. We also miss experience which is important for the team in those kinds of matches."
Kenya will, however, have the experience of Steve Tikolo for the World Cup after the former captain made himself available for selection months after walking out on the team.