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Holland

Netherlands: making strides

Netherlands: making strides

Netherlands squad:
Peter Borren (capt)
Adeel Raja
Wesley Barresi
Mudassar Bukhari
Atse Buurman
Tom Cooper
Tom de Grooth
Alexei Kervezee
Bradley Kruger
Bernard Loots
Pieter Seelaar
Eric Szwarczynski
Ryan ten Doeschate
Berend Westdijk
Bas Zuiderent

Overview

Peter Borren skippers a new-look Netherlands side after long-serving wicketkeeper and captain Jeroen Smits' retirement and Dirk Nannes' return to Australia.

Their 15-man squad features several promising youngsters alongside the experience of seasoned pros like veteran batsman Bas Zuiderent and Essex all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate.

The Netherlands, who famously beat England at Lord's in the 2009 World Twenty20, have been making strides recently in the 50-over game after picking up victories over a full-strength Bangladesh side and a Zimbabwe XI containing several full internationals.

Borren's side will be hopeful of registering at least one victory on the sub-continent, but the fixture list has not been kind: the Netherlands face the four Group B big guns first up before ending their campaign with the more winnable encounters with Bangladesh and Ireland.

Strengths

Kervezee: promising

In all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate. a two-time ICC Associate Player of the Year and the world's leading cricketer from outside the Test-playing nations, the Dutch possess a player capable of game-changing destruction with both bat and ball.

The batting line-up, led by ten Doeschate, looks relatively solid with the promising Alexei Kervezee and Aussie import Tom Cooper bringing first-class quality to the ranks.

Former Sussex batsman Bas Zuiderent, meanwhile, has seen it all before as he prepares for his fourth World Cup having made a half-century against England back in 1996 when still a teenager.

While the Netherlands may lack the weapons to truly hurt the tournament's powerhouses, they should be able to post respectable totals with some regularity on the batsman-friendly pitches of the sub-continent.

Weaknesses

Nannes: big loss

The loss of Dirk Nannes leaves the bowling attack looking threadbare, with much resting on ten Doeschate and fellow all-rounder Mudassar Bukhari.

On flat pitches, it's hard to see how the Dutch will be able to contain the fearsome batting line-ups that await them in a group including England, India and South Africa.

With six players playing their first World Cup, the minnows are short of experience and with a frontloaded fixture list that sees them start with games against the five Test-playing nations in Group B it may prove tough to keep spirits in the camp high should things go wrong early.

The retirement of Jeroen Smits leaves the Netherlands short of wicketkeeping experience, with both Wesley Barresi and Atse Buurman making their first appearances at a top-flight ICC tournament.

Six-hitter - Ryan ten Doeschate

ten Doeschate: main man

Ten Doeschate has been the main man in Dutch cricket for five years now and is their one genuinely top-class performer. The Essex all-rounder has been preparing for the World Cup with successful Twenty20 stints In New Zealand (where he was named MVP in the HRV Cup) and Australia so arrives in the sub-continent in good form.

A powerful, clean striker of a cricket ball, ten Doeschate has cleared the ropes 24 times in 27 ODIs and boasts an eye-catching average of 68.55 at a strike-rate of 87. Throw in his bowling (48 wickets at 21) and athletic fielding, and it's hard to overstate the importance of the reigning ICC Associate Player of the Year to his side's cause.

Strike bowler - Mudassar Bukhari

Bukhari: 33 ODI wickets

With Dirk Nannes having swapped orange for green-and-gold, much of the bowling responsibility now rests on ten Doeschate and fellow all-rounder Mudassar Bukhari.

Pakistan-born Bukhari has 33 wickets from 27 ODIs at a handy average of just 24 and a decent economy rate to go with two half-centuries with the bat

Look out for...Tom Cooper

Cooper: Australian-born batsman

Australian-born batsman Cooper has made a stunning start to his international career with the Netherlands after qualifying to wear the orange through his mother. He hit half-centuries in his first three ODIs before scoring his first century in his fifth against Afghanistan.

After 10 games - albeit mainly against Associate opposition - his average stands at 65, and he is also a handy off-spinner.

Cooper announced himself to Australian audiences in February last year when, playing for the Prime Minister's XI against the West Indies, he smashed 14 fours and six sixes in a breathtaking innings of 160 not out.

Still only 24 years old, Cooper will retain the ambition of following in Dirk Nannes' footsteps and one day graduating to the Australian side.

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