Netherlands dream big in tie against Australia

- October 24, 2023
| By : Khurram Habib |

The Dutch can be serious contenders for semi-finals if they manage to upset Australia who got a major boost to enter semi-finals

Pakistan’s loss to Afghanistan on Monday has given Australia’s chances of making the last-four stage in the ongoing World Cup a boost, and Netherlands, despite having put up an impressive show so far, should be easy two points for Pat Cummins’s men helping them cement their fourth position in the points table.

Middle-order batsman Travis Head, who was out injured is likely to make a comeback in Wednesday’s match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium probably in place of Marnus Labuschagne.

Mitchell Marsh, who scored a century against Pakistan on October 20 said that the tournament has picked pace and each and every game is important from now on.

“I think every game from here on is really important for every team that is in the World Cup. We have seen some teams that have lost a couple. And as I said earlier, there’s no easy games in this World Cup. And whoever holds that trophy in a couple of weeks’ time will deserving winners, because every game’s high pressure,” said Marsh to the media about not taking Wednesday’s game against the Associate nation easy.

Netherlands, who are in eighth place in the points table and will likely move up to seventh after the end of South Africa-Bangladesh match on Tuesday, still have their sight on a spot in the semi-finals.

It will be the resistance of Dutch, who have already slayed strong South Africa, that will be most watched.

Asked if they can beat Australia, all-rounder Logan van Beek said, “Why not? We’ve come here to reach the semi-finals. That’s our goal. It’s been pretty clear throughout the whole preparation phase. And the win against South Africa just gave us that extra belief that you know the way we’re playing at the moment, on our day we can still beat a good team.”

Van Beek’s confidence isn’t fanciful. A surprise win against Australia will put his team in sixth place with four points like Afghanistan but with a better net run rate. They will then face Bangladesh and Afghanistan in their next two matches and wins in these wouldn’t be out of reach.

The key for the Dutch players, some of who enjoyed visiting the India Gate in the Capital a day ago, will be their skipper Scott Edwards’s knowledge of Australia.

Edwards was raised in Australia and played club cricket in the country before making a switch to Netherlands.

There are many players in the Netherlands side who are from a different country but switched to Oranje to play top-flight cricket. Van Beek was born and raised in New Zealand while the star of the match against South Africa was Roelof van der Merwe, who himself has played international cricket for the Proteas in the past.

“Scotty’s excited for this game. He’s obviously probably grown up wanting to play for Australia. He still can play for Australia… He’s got that extra little motivation. And it’s like me when I play New Zealand. It’s the same kind of feeling of, I just want to get one up over these guys.”