Friday, December 9, 2022

ICC: Exciting blend of youth and experience for the Netherlands

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Netherlands are a fixture at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and the famous bright orange shirts will be on show once again in Australia.

Ryan Cook’s side head Down Under in search of a first win in the competition since 2016 having suffered three defeats in Oman last year but they boast a squad packed with quality.

That showed when they swept through July’s high-stakes Qualifier in Zimbabwe, sealing a World Cup spot by beating USA in the semi-finals. What can the Dutch expect from a fourth successive appearance on the biggest stage?

2022 Prospects

Head coach Cook has been able to name a strong 16-man squad ahead of the tournament with an exciting blend of youth and experience. The squad shows some significant changes from the 2021 tournament with 12 survivors from the 16 who featured a year ago. 

They have been consistently exposed to the best teams in the world in the 50-over format through the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League and they pushed New Zealand close in the first of two T20 internationals in August, falling short by only 16 runs. 

Last year’s World Cup came on the slower, turning pitches of UAE and Oman but the bouncier conditions in Australia are likely to play to their strengths.

Sri Lanka will be favourites to emerge from Group A of the First Round but Netherlands will expect to compete with Namibia and UAE for second in what promises to be a tight battle all the way.

T20 World Cup history

Netherlands have played their part in a series of iconic T20 World Cup moments. Who could forget their two wins over England – the first coming in the opening game of the 2009 event by successfully chasing 162 off the final ball. Five years on and they claimed the same scalp again in the Super 10 by 45 runs.

They remain two of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament and if Netherlands make it through here, rest assured the Super 12 sides won’t be taking them lightly.

This will be their fourth consecutive T20 World Cup, after they only appeared in one of the previous four, which showcases their progress.  A win eluded them last time out but they beat Ireland in 2016 in the group stage.

Best batters

Tom Cooper is a proven performer at international level and will be extra motivated to deliver this year. The 35-year-old peeled off three successive half-centuries against Pakistan in August to arrive in the country of his birth in superb touch.

Cooper, who qualifies to play for Netherlands through his mother, averages an excellent 47.76 in the ODI arena and a hearty 34.93 in first-class cricket, proving he’s a real all-rounder. He’s likely to bat towards the end of an innings, while he can also hold an end with the ball.

Max O’Dowd was the man in form in the Qualifier, notching 178 runs in five games there, and 22-year-old gun all-rounder Bas de Leede’s unbeaten 91 was key to the win over USA.

Best bowlers

Logan van Beek was the top wicket-taker among all comers at the Qualifier with his tricky medium pacers taking 11 poles at just 7.45 apiece. 

De Leede is the leader of the new generation of Dutch cricketers and while his best work has come with the bat of late, is a very consistent wicket-taker with his fast medium.

Familiar names such as Timm van der Gugten and Logan van Beek will feature once more.

 Fixtures

Netherlands begin their campaign against UAE on October 16, before playing Namibia two days later, and Sri Lanka on October 20. All these matches are in Geelong’s Kardinia Park.

Netherlands v UAE, October 16 – Geelong (19h00 local time)
Netherlands v Namibia, October 18 – Geelong (15h00 local time)
Netherlands v Sri Lanka, October 20 – Geelong (15h00 local time)

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