Can Netherlands take their T20 form into World Cup?

(World Cup Countdown)

By Bharat Sharma, IANS,

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New Delhi : The Netherlands, who created a sensation by stunning eventual champions England in the World Twenty20 championship last year, are eyeing a similar feat in the upcoming World Cup in the sub-continent.

The Dutch, set to make their fourth World Cup appearance, have had some positive results in the run up to the mega event. Besides shocking England in the shortest format of the game in June, they comprehensively beat Bangladesh in a one-off ODI in July to record their first win against a Test playing nation. Same month, they also got the better of a near full-strength Zimbabwe XI.

“Recently, we have shown good progress in one-day cricket, and we will be looking to take this form into the World Cup,” said national selector Darrin Murray.

The squad, led by skipper Peter Borren, has six players who will be playing in their first World Cup. Batting is their strength with the presence of Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) new recruit Ryan ten Doeschate and veteran batsman Bas Zuiderent.

All-rounder Doeschate, two time International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Associate Cricketer of the year and a regular in the Essex county side, is easily the stand-out player in the team. His batting average of 68.55 in 27 ODIs makes him a threat against any opposition. He also has 48 wickets in as many matches.

Tom Cooper, who plays for South Australia in the domestic scene, is another batsman to watch out for.

But the bowling attack seems depleted with with absence of fast bowlers and twin brothers Mark and Maurits Jonkmman. The duo were not considered as they are undergoing a programme to change their actions. Thus the onus is on medium-pacers Borren and Mudassar Bukhari to deliver with the new ball.

The team is currently training in ICC’s Global Training Academy in Dubai and had a two-weeks stint in Pune in December as part of Cup preparations.

The Netherlands start campaign against England in Nagpur Feb 22 with the other teams in the pool being India, South Africa, Bangladesh, the West Indies and Ireland.

The squad: Peter Borren (captain), Wesley Baressi (wicketkeeper), Mudassar Bukhari, Atse Buurman Tom Cooper, Tom de Grooth, Alexei Kervezee, Bradley Kruger, Bernard Loots, Adeel Raja, Pieter Seelaar, Eric Swarczynski, Ryan Ten Doeschate, Berend Westdijk, Bas Zuiderent.

Fixtures: Feb 22 vs England (Nagpur), Feb 28 vs West Indies (New Delhi), Mar 3 vs South Africa (Mohali), Mar 9 vs India (New Delhi), Mar 14 vs Bangladesh (Dhaka), Mar 18 vs Ireland (Kolkata).

(Bharat Sharma can be contacted at [email protected])