Underdogs Netherlands bank on all-rounders to surprise big teams in World Cup

New Delhi, Oct 4 (PTI) Just like any other greenhorns, Netherlands will be eager to make their World Cup campaign memorable while upsetting a big team or two, something that makes the tale of underdogs so endearing. They had shown signs of their potential while beating two-time champions West Indies, Scotland, USA, Oman and Nepal in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2023.

But it would be easier said than done as the Netherlands lack experience and international exposure, which they will look to gather from the showpiece.

Here’s a look at the Netherlands’ strengths and weaknesses ahead of their tournament opener against Pakistan on Friday in Hyderabad. STRENGTHS ********** The Netherlands biggest strength is the presence of a number of all-rounders in their squad, which is vital in white-ball cricket. In Bas de Leede, Teja Nidamanuru, Max O’Dowd, Colin Ackermann, Shariz Ahmad and Roelof van der Merwe, the Dutch are blessed with some exciting all-round options, who have the ability to turn a match on its head.

Besides, there won’t be any pressure of expectations on the Dutchmen, which would augur well for them on a big stage.

WEAKNESSES *********** The Netherlands are vulnerable against spin and it was quite evident in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers. Tackling spinners on Indian conditions will be the Dutch side’s biggest challenge.

One more weak link for the Netherlands is their spin attack. With just one main-line spinner in Aryan Dutt in their ranks, the department lacks sting and they will have to rely on captain Scott Edwards’ part-time spin.

OPPORTUNITIES ************* Cricket not being the number one sport in the Netherlands, the Dutch players hardly get opportunities to rub shoulders with the best and the World Cup will provide them the opportunity to compete against the likes of India, Australia, England and Pakistan among others. But the Netherlands are largely an unknown entity for the big teams, and they should try to exploit that unfamiliarity factor.

The tournament is also a chance for them to make a statement before the world with some upset victories and, who knows, probably a place in the next stage. After all, miracles are an unavoidable part of sports.

THREATS ******** They should be able to control their nerves in the biggest stage of cricket. They will be up against some experienced cricketers and punishing moments will come their way invariably. They also have little experience playing cricket in India, and it might not be entirely surprising to see them struggling in these conditions.

Source: PTI News


Share The Article:

Leave A Reply