Netherlands coach Ryan Cook named a blend of youth and experience in his World Cup squad Thursday, saying his men are hoping to belie their underdog tag at next month’s cricket showpiece.
Despite some heavy recent losses including a world-record ODI defeat against England in June last year, the Dutch sensationally qualified for the tournament in India with wins against Scotland, Zimbabwe and the West Indies.
“People often refer to us as cricket minions,” Cook said.
“We don’t really see ourselves as that. Labelling our team puts a limitation on what we can do,” Cook told AFP at the squad announcement.
“We see ourselves as a cricketing nation that plays in a good style. We compete against the best teams in the world. We’ll be putting everything in to get those five or six wins and get to the semifinals,” the South African coach said.
Led by Scott Edwards, the squad includes the hard-hitting Bas de Leede and Max O’Dowd, a balanced bowling attack including Paul van Meekeren and Logan van Beek, and veteran campaigners Roelof van der Merwe and Colin Ackermann.
South African-born Sybrand Engelbrecht also seems set to debut for the Dutch at the World Cup, having recently been declared eligible to play.
Twenty-year-old spinners Shariz Ahmed and Aryan Dutt will play an important role in making the most of India’s turn-friendly pitches, while exciting opener Vikram Singh’s experience — training in south Asia in the off-season — will no doubt come in handy.
“It 100 percent gives the advantage,” Singh said.
The team flies to Bengaluru on September 18 for an eight-day training camp including two matches against Karnataka, before facing Pakistan on October 6. The Dutch last played in the 2011 World Cup.
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