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Kent batsman Tawanda Muyeye has chance to stake claim as head coach Matt Walker turns to younger faces for final T20 Blast games


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Kent will shuffle their pack in the final T20 Blast games of the summer.

Spitfires have four more matches left to play, starting against Gloucestershire at Canterbury tonight (Tuesday, 7pm).

Kent's Tawanda Muyeye is set for a run in the T20 side. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Kent's Tawanda Muyeye is set for a run in the T20 side. Picture: Barry Goodwin

With their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages a distant memory, head coach Matt Walker admitted it’s an opportunity to blood some younger players, including batsman Tawanda Muyeye.

“Whether it’s one, two or three we’ll wait and see,” said Walker.

“Certainly Tawanda deserves an opportunity at the top, he’s had a couple of games and things have transpired where he hasn't quite had the run yet but this is a good opportunity for him to play these last few games.

“We will see what else we need to do. Our bowlers are a bit battered and bruised and we haven’t got anything to really shift around at the moment with people still coming back from injury. If we can, we will.”

Walker also conceded that their County Championship clash at Surrey, which starts from Sunday, comes into their thinking this week, with the potential of resting tired bodies more appealing now there is no chance of progressing in the T20 Blast.

“We might change it a bit more as we have to have one eye on our Championship team,” added Walker, whose side also host Sussex Sharks in the Blast on Friday night.

“That’s one competition where we’ve got to really focus on now and give ourselves the best chance to keep competing in that.

“There’s always an eye on that, making sure people are fresh going into that game on Sunday. We’ve got another few games this week to get out of the way, too.

“We’ll have a think and see how the bodies are in the next couple of days before we pick the next side.

“When you’re out of it, the upside in some small way is that you can have a look at other players and give them an opportunity.

“We’ve got nothing to lose now and all I ask from this group is that we play with a bit more pride than we’ve shown in the last few games.

"That’s always a disappointing thing, you want to see that hunger and desperation.

“I know everyone cares about this team and wants to win, it’s easy when you are winning but when it’s not going your way that’s when you really want to see the character come to the top and we haven't seen that enough.

“The next Championship game against the form team in the country is going to be tough, but we need people to put their hand up and really dig a bit deeper.”

Whatever the team that Kent put out against Gloucestershire, Walker wants to see more energy in all facets of the game.

The running between the wickets lacked urgency at Lord’s on Sunday and the head coach admitted there was something missing from his troops.

“It felt flat again,” stated Walker. “This is the most disappointing thing of it all. When things aren’t going well there’s not quite that grit and bite and that character showing where someone is going to grab it by the throat.

“You see it in the field, where partnerships form and that’s been happening a little bit this season. That’s a lack of confidence and the expectancy when things aren't going your way in the game people just start to almost expect the worst and it starts to show.

“Every game is a new game and we want to see that energy and fight, and everyone goes into the game with that belief. But when things start not going your way, there is a lack of confidence and it starts to show in performance.

“It’s a tough place to be when you’re in this situation, we haven’t experienced it for a little while and it definitely shows.

“You try and approach each game fresh, you go out there and start again but the minute parts of the game don't go well you see that lack of confidence bleed through and it’s happened again.

“It’s hard to take, it’s frustrating because it’s the same group, pretty much, that won us the competition last year. It just shows when you get on that losing streak it’s very difficult to get out of.”

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