Kyobe backs batting partner Mukasa ahead of Dubai trip
Posted Monday, October 14 2013 at 00:00
Kyobe insists Mukasa’s form should not be a worry ahead of next month’s ICC Global Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers.
For close to seven months, there has been continued criticism of Roger Mukasa’s undulating batting form.
This has been a point of debate at a time when Uganda has endured endless batting woes on the international scene.
The issue was again brought to light when the 24-year-old opener scored only one run as Uganda’s select side defeated the visiting Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) by eight wickets at Lugogo Oval on Saturday. That low figure was preceded by a seven-run score when Uganda sneaked to a three-run win at the lakeside oval in Entebbe on Friday against the same opposition. Mukasa’s dip in form has prompted some in the cricket fraternity to declare that Uganda is in a batting crisis. “There is no crisis,” Mukasa’s fellow opener Arthur Kyobe told Daily Monitor after both build-up games.
And Kyobe insists Mukasa’s form should not be a worry ahead of next month’s ICC Global Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers in Dubai.
“We all have good and bad days on the crease. Roger was a bit unlucky on both occasions,” he said.
Kyobe, who also made just seven off 43 balls on Friday, recovered with five fours and three sixes for a quick half-ton of 51 runs off 29 deliveries a day later. “Coach Johan (Rudolph) told us (him and Mukasa) that ‘once one attacks, the other backs up,” explained Kyobe. “When Mukasa fell, I took on the duty to attack,” Kyobe added. “Once I am on a low, he usually backs up.” Left-hander Kyobe’s knock, supplemented with Arthur Ziraba’s 32* off 27 helped Uganda chase MCC’s 93-6 score under 40 minutes on the chilly afternoon.
In his own defence, Mukasa said: “There is no batsman who would love to return low scores. I feel low when I miss scoring double figures and I often get back to the basics and fight to improve.”
“Sometimes, the coach’s plan may fail to work out but we end up winning games. Dubai may not be far but I have enough time to cope up.” At the start of this year, Mukasa was at the peak of his powers. He finished best batsman with 386 runs in seven innings to help his club Tornado B reach the semifinals of the National Twenty20 League.
When then national coaches Kenyans Martin Suji and Steve Tikolo tried to lower him down the order to three, Mukasa struggled during the ICC World Cricket League Division III tournament in Bermuda but Kyobe stood out with 157 runs and Uganda finished second behind Nepal.
From then onwards, Mukasa’s form continued to dip at the regional East Africa Cup competitions not until last month’s South Africa tour when he totaled 298 runs from nine innings with a best score of 107 against Sinoville Club.