India v Kenya at Bristol - Preview
Dave Liverman for CricInfo - 22 May 1999
India meet Kenya in what might on paper be considered a mis-match. Yet it is almost a year to the day since Kenya beat India in a one-day international at Gwalior, facing what was a full strength Indian team. The Kenyan squad is essentially unchanged from that meeting, and they will be confident that they will be able to take advantage of anything less than a strong performance by the Indians. India still have a chance of qualifying for the next stage of the competition, after Sri Lanka's win over Zimbabwe and England's heavy defeat. A loss for them would be a disaster. Kenya to stand a chance will need to win the toss and bowl, hoping that the early conditions might help their bowling- it tends to need all the assistance it can get. Their batting is quite capable of chasing 200+, especially against an attack that has had problems finding an economical 5th bowler. India's batting line-up is one of the best in the tournament, although their captain is having a poor run, and with Tendulkar returning is even stronger. India have their backs against the wall however, and have not always reacted well to such pressure. Early wickets for Kenya, espcially if they include Tendulkar, and it is anyone's game.
Men to watch: The two STs - SRT and SOT... Sachin Tendulkar, back after the death of his father, and Steve Tikolo, who has already impressed in the tournament. Tendulkar is always the man to watch for India, capable of winning a game off his won bat, but whether he can step back in after his personal tragedy, and extensive travelling will be interesting. Kenya rely on Tikolo as much as India on SRT, and he will have to be at his best for Kenya to stand a chance.
Old lags: Mohammad Azharuddin (36), Robin Singh (35), Aasif Karim (35)
Young pups: Ajit Agarkar (21, but in danger of being dropped after two poor performances), Mohammed Sheikh (18)
Neutrals may look for: An intense performance from India, and their captain. A loss will send India home, and in all probability mark the end of Azhar's 2nd term as captain.