We have full respect for Pietersen: Borren

Borren has played down Kevin Pietersen’s new role at the top of England’s order to promote his own team’s World Cup opening pair

Nagpur: Feb 21, 2011

Dutch captain Peter Borren played down Kevin Pietersen’s new role at the top of England’s order on Monday to promote his own team’s World Cup opening pair.

While much of the talk in the build-up to Tuesday’s clash has centred around England’s decision to promote Pietersen to partner captain Andrew Strauss, Borren said his two openers were worth watching. “I’m looking out for Alexei Kervezee, a young opening batsman who plays at Worcestershire. He’s only 21 but playing in his second World Cup which is pretty impressive,” said Borren.

“His development has come on in leaps and bounds and I think he’ll make a statement. The other opening batsman Wesley Barresi is not necessarily a well-known player but is someone who I think can handle this level of cricket: not only handle it, but also do very, very well.”

As for Pietersen opening, a bullish Borren said: “It’s a change from England and for Pietersen himself. We’re well aware what he’s capable of and aware he’s not done that job all that much so hopefully that gives us an opportunity.

“We’ve got full respect for him but not only him but the other batsmen in the England lineup and obviously their bowling and fielding as well. We’ve got to take our chances and if we can bowl with our own discipline hopefully we can create those chances.”

Although Borren has recovered from a stomach injury sufficiently to be able to bat and lead the side, the medium-pacer said he was unfit to bowl. “It’s disappointing but I think we’ve got it covered. We’ll have five or six bowling options.”

Borren also urged his side to “prove ourselves on the field” as the debate about associate participation at the World Cup continues to rage in the subcontinent.

His side begin their 2011 campaign against England with Australia captain Ricky Ponting questioning whether teams outside the Test elite are worth their place in the World Cup.

The issue was brought into sharp focus on Sunday by a pair of huge defeats for two of the four associate countries taking part at the World Cup with Kenya going down by 10 wickets to New Zealand and Canada losing by a mammoth 210 runs to co-hosts Sri Lanka.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) have angered many second-tier countries with their decision to reduce the 2015 World Cup from 14 teams to 10.

Given there are 10 Test nations, this would appear to preclude associate countries from participating although the global governing body has yet to determine how teams will qualify for the 2015 event.

But Borren said what happens in four years’ time was not his concern, saying: “It’s not something I’ve been focusing on. We need to prove ourselves on the field in a way that we can make our own statement with regard to what happens in the future of the 50-over World Cup.

“Everyone enjoys the underdog doing well and there’s been instances of that throughout the World Cups. We’re hoping by pulling off the sort of results that have happened in the past we can answer that question on the field.”

The Dutch caused one of the great upsets by beating England at Lord’s in the 2009 World Twenty20 and Borren said: “There’s no doubt that night gave us a bit of confidence going into a fixture on Tuesday which we’ve had two years of preparation for. As I say, the confidence in the team and the preparation we’ve had, it would be nice to pull off a victory again.”