Preview: Can Netherlands stop minnow bashing against West Indies?

West Indies

Can Netherlands stop minnow bashing against West Indies?

By Suneer Chowdhary

Delhi: Feb 27, 2011

Back in 2007 when the two sides had met, Netherlands had been swept aside by the ‘powerful West Indies. Led by the medium-pace of Dwayne Smith, the Dutch team were bowled out for 80 before Chris Gayle bombed them with a half-century that shaped up a ten-wicket win. This has been their only meeting till date.

It is difficult to see that repeat when West Indies take on Netherlands in the 13th game of this edition of the World Cup, at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Since 2007, incidentally, also the time when Brian Lara hung up his shoes, West Indies have made a steady progress downhill. In-fighting within the board, poor contractual terms and the rise of lucrative options outside their region have led players to seek terminations of their own contracts and that has seen the side win nothing against a currently-Test-playing nation in many months.

Netherlands, for all the courage they showed against England, have been up and down in their internationals against the Associates. The lack of opportunities to play against Test-playing sides is a telling contributing factor. In 2010, they featured in 12 games and none were against a top side. They won five and lost the rest.

Again, they played none of these games in 2009 either nor in 2008. It s difficult, then, to expect them to overcome a top side despite their near match-winning show against England.

A preview of any of the remaining Dutch games will be incomplete without the presence of Ryan ten Doeschate. Till before one saw him bat against England, the sense was that ten Doeschate is probably a one-dimensional batsman someone who could give the ball a fairly powerful whack and play short cameos. And this myth was probably based on his MVP-winning performance at the New Zealand s domestic T20 tournament and the ensuing IPL contract.

Against England, he was sublime. There were strokes in his innings that have been a part of the batsmen s repertoire even before the invention of T20 cricket. And then, here were some others which were a part before the ODIs came about. Unlike someone like John Davison, who had played aggressively in the couple of innings that he did in the 2003 World Cup, ten Doeschate could well be a greater threat to the opposition with his ability to play the waiting game as well. And against the wafer-thin West Indian attack, he could well be the player to watch out for.

West Indies need inspiration from one or more of their players. They had come into the tournament as one top-side who could lose out on the quarter-final berth. And so far, they have not done much to disprove the theory. Fortune, which they say, also belongs to the brave, has deserted them too. The injuries and subsequent ousters of Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh and Dwayne Bravo prove as much.

Against South Africa, one felt that West Indies had gone into the game with at least two bowlers short. The one positive to come out of Bravo s injury will be the inclusion of a frontline bowler. Or so one hopes.

Then again, it is an oft-repeated theory that Kieron Pollard bats far too low down the order for comfort. One felt that it is a similar story to that of Lance Klusener, who was a reluctant batsman up the order. However, where his was a different case was that most of the batsmen above him possessed enough firepower to lay a foundation for Klusener to walk into. West Indies haven t got half that arsenal.

There are a few other questions that West Indies will need to address for the tournament through this game. Chris Gayle s form, Darren Sammy s role in the side and Kemar Roach s fast-bowling partner are some of the ones which need answering.

Teams

West Indies (Probable): Chris Gayle, Devon Smith, Darren Bravo, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kieron Pollard, Devon Thomas (wk), Darren Sammy, Sulieman Benn, Kemar Roach, Ravi Rampaul.

Netherlands (Probable): Alexei Kervezee, Wesley Barresi(wk), Tom Cooper, Tom de Grooth, Ryan ten Doeschate, Bas Zuiderent, Peter Borren (c), Mudassar Bukhari, Pieter Seelar, Berend Westdijk, Adeel Raja.

Umpires: Amish Saheba (India) and Simon Taufel (Australia).

Time: 14.30 hours local (09.00 GMT).

(Suneer is a Mumbai-based cricket writer and can be contacted at suneerchowdhary@gmail.com and Tweets here: @suneerchowdhary)

By Suneer Chowdhary


Delhi: Feb 27, 2011

Back in 2007 when the two sides had met, Netherlands had been swept aside by the ‘powerful West Indies. Led by the medium-pace of Dwayne Smith, the Dutch team were bowled out for 80 before Chris Gayle bombed them with a half-century that shaped up a ten-wicket win. This has been their only meeting till date.

It is difficult to see that repeat when West Indies take on Netherlands in the 13th game of this edition of the World Cup, at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Since 2007, incidentally, also the time when Brian Lara hung up his shoes, West Indies have made a steady progress downhill. In-fighting within the board, poor contractual terms and the rise of lucrative options outside their region have led players to seek terminations of their own contracts and that has seen the side win nothing against a currently-Test-playing nation in many months.

Netherlands, for all the courage they showed against England, have been up and down in their internationals against the Associates. The lack of opportunities to play against Test-playing sides is a telling contributing factor. In 2010, they featured in 12 games and none were against a top side. They won five and lost the rest.

Again, they played none of these games in 2009 either nor in 2008. It s difficult, then, to expect them to overcome a top side despite their near match-winning show against England.

A preview of any of the remaining Dutch games will be incomplete without the presence of Ryan ten Doeschate. Till before one saw him bat against England, the sense was that ten Doeschate is probably a one-dimensional batsman someone who could give the ball a fairly powerful whack and play short cameos. And this myth was probably based on his MVP-winning performance at the New Zealand s domestic T20 tournament and the ensuing IPL contract.

Against England, he was sublime. There were strokes in his innings that have been a part of the batsmen s repertoire even before the invention of T20 cricket. And then, here were some others which were a part before the ODIs came about. Unlike someone like John Davison, who had played aggressively in the couple of innings that he did in the 2003 World Cup, ten Doeschate could well be a greater threat to the opposition with his ability to play the waiting game as well. And against the wafer-thin West Indian attack, he could well be the player to watch out for.

West Indies need inspiration from one or more of their players. They had come into the tournament as one top-side who could lose out on the quarter-final berth. And so far, they have not done much to disprove the theory. Fortune, which they say, also belongs to the brave, has deserted them too. The injuries and subsequent ousters of Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh and Dwayne Bravo prove as much.

Against South Africa, one felt that West Indies had gone into the game with at least two bowlers short. The one positive to come out of Bravo s injury will be the inclusion of a frontline bowler. Or so one hopes.

Then again, it is an oft-repeated theory that Kieron Pollard bats far too low down the order for comfort. One felt that it is a similar story to that of Lance Klusener, who was a reluctant batsman up the order. However, where his was a different case was that most of the batsmen above him possessed enough firepower to lay a foundation for Klusener to walk into. West Indies haven t got half that arsenal.

There are a few other questions that West Indies will need to address for the tournament through this game. Chris Gayle s form, Darren Sammy s role in the side and Kemar Roach s fast-bowling partner are some of the ones which need answering.

Teams

West Indies (Probable): Chris Gayle, Devon Smith, Darren Bravo, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kieron Pollard, Devon Thomas (wk), Darren Sammy, Sulieman Benn, Kemar Roach, Ravi Rampaul.

Netherlands (Probable): Alexei Kervezee, Wesley Barresi(wk), Tom Cooper, Tom de Grooth, Ryan ten Doeschate, Bas Zuiderent, Peter Borren (c), Mudassar Bukhari, Pieter Seelar, Berend Westdijk, Adeel Raja.

Umpires: Amish Saheba (India) and Simon Taufel (Australia).

Time: 14.30 hours local (09.00 GMT).

(Suneer is a Mumbai-based cricket writer and can be contacted at suneerchowdhary@gmail.com and Tweets here: @suneerchowdhary)

Pictures Getty Images