Teja Nidamanuru is one of the reasons why the Netherlands cricket team is in India. His brilliant 111 off just 76 balls helped the Dutch team pull off an unforgettable Super-Over win against the West Indies in the World Cup Qualifier in June.
The 29-year-old hasn’t fired yet at the World Cup, though he has got a couple of starts. He is hoping to come good against Sri Lanka here on Saturday.
The Vijayawada-born batter is delighted that the Netherlands is gaining some much-deserved attention from back home, where, he said on Friday, only 5,000 people played cricket.
“We are here to compete and we have an aim, we have an aspiration to try playing in the semifinals and that could change stuff and we could get more bilateral series that way,” he said. “So, the better we perform here and obviously showcase our skills, it will stand us in good stead going forward.”
He spoke of the Netherlands’ challenges of being only an associate member of the ICC when it came to the funding and the lack of exposure when it came to play against the bigger teams. “So, when you do come up against them, you’re like, okay, well, we have really got to rise to the occasion,” Nidamanuru said. “But if we were playing like the other (top) teams do, I am sure that would be up to par in terms of how it goes. So, if you say, hey, we play someone like New Zealand 10 times, I’m sure we would be able to win at least four or five games out of that.”
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Looking ahead to the match against Sri Lanka, he said a win might not even be an upset. “I don’t know if I would call it an upset,” he said. “We’ve competed against Sri Lanka multiple times in the qualifiers, and obviously we fell short in our batting side, and we have worked extremely hard on that.”
Sri Lanka’s assistant coach Naveed Nawaz said the team had a young attack. “We came into this tournament with a lot of injuries to our main bowlers,” he said. “We have been having this in the last couple of months. Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera were ruled out. (Maheesh Theekshana missed the first game). So, we had a concern there. We are playing with a really young group of bowlers. They are bound to make mistakes. The way forward is how we can learn from those mistakes.”
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