ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
England v Netherlands, Group B, World Cup 2011, Nagpur
No room for lemons in City of Oranges
February 21, 2011
February 22, Nagpur
Start time 14:30 local time (09:00 GMT)
Whisper it, but England owe the Netherlands a significant debt of favour. The last time these two teams met was at Lord's in June 2009 on a soggy opening night of the World Twenty20, when Ryan ten Doeschate, Tom de Grooth, Edgar Schiferli and Co. inflicted a sensational humiliation on an England team who were still resettling after their Moores/Pietersen upheaval, and had yet to recognise the need to front up in all formats.
It was a notable nadir, and a result that still ranks as one of the most abject moments in England's often chequered history in ICC competitions. And yet, it was arguably the hurry-up that they needed. Since that night, England have gone on to win and retain the Ashes, they triumphed at the subsequent World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, and until last month's ODI debagging in Australia, they had not lost a series in any format of the game since September 2009.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the memories of that evening have been surpressed by both teams in the build-up to this rematch. On the one hand, the Dutch have no wish to relinquish their comforting status as underdogs, but on the other, there is a widespread acceptance that England in 2011 are a very different proposition. They are not among the outright favourites for the World Cup by any stretch of the imagination, but neither should they be the makeweights who have disgraced every edition of the tournament since 1996.
Netherlands could hardly wish for a more portentous venue than Nagpur, India's so-called city of Oranges, although in a contest stretched over 100 overs rather than 40, England's experience ought to tell in the end - just as it did against Canada in their inauspicious warm-up in Fatullah last week, and indeed in Peshawar 15 years ago, when the teenaged Bas Zuiderent stole the plaudits for his maiden fifty, if not the result. England were as bad as they've ever been in that campaign. They've come a long way since then.
Form guide(Most recent first)
Pitch and conditions
There has been a distinct English feel to the weather in Nagpur in recent days with cloud cover and drizzle in the air. Similar is forecast for the match which will suit both sides who are more used to cooler conditions. The nets have been a little spicy, but don't expect the surface to offer the same life.
Watch out for…
The big talking point is Kevin Pietersen's promotion to the top of the England order. It's not a role he has attempted too often in the past, although his 131 from 122 balls against India A in Bangalore seven years ago provides some evidence of what he might be able to achieve. Besides, so far in the tournament, No. 1 has been the place to bat, with Sehwag, Tamim, Dilshan and Watson all cashing in on their opportunities. KP's never better than when he has a point to prove.
Ryan ten Doeschate is the Netherlands' outstanding performer. A big-hitting and technically correct batsman, and a tricksy seamer with a good change-up in pace and a range of subtle variations, he has honed his skills as a stalwart at Essex, and is the one Dutch player who would press for a place in the England middle-order. A lot will rest on his shoulders if they are to come close to matching their shock result two years ago.
Graeme Swann is back with England's squad after an eventful month which began with a back injury in Australia, and culminated in the birth of his first son, Wilfred, only days after his successful quashing of a drink-driving charge at Nottingham Magistrates' Court. Assuming he has regained his fitness and focus after all that, he'll be straight back into the side, and may be joined by the late squad addition Ravi Bopara, whose powerful strokeplay could be vital in the absence of Eoin Morgan.
England (probable) 1 Kevin Pietersen, 2 Andrew Strauss (capt), 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Ian Bell, 5 Paul Collingwood, 6 Matt Prior (wk), 7 Ravi Bopara, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson.
The Dutch captain Peter Borren is expected to play but will not bowl after suffering an abdominal strain. There could be a new look at the top of the order with the young wicketkeeper, Wesley Barresi, touted as a possible opening partner for the Worcestershire starlet, Alexei Kervezee. "I think [Barresi] can handle this level of cricket: not only handle it, but also do very, very well," said Borren.
Netherlands (possible) 1 Alexei Kervezee, 2 Wesley Barresi (wk), 3 Eric Szwarczynski, 4 Tom Cooper, 5 Ryan ten Doeschate, 6 Peter Borren (capt), 7 Bas Zuiderent, 8 Tom de Grooth, 9 Mudassar Bukhari, 10 Adeel Raja, 11 Bradley Kruger.
Try picking the XIs for tomorrow's game by playing Team Selector.
Stats and trivia
- The first meeting between these two teams came in Peshawar exactly 15 years ago, when Graeme Hick's century proved the difference between two improbably well-matched teams. Bas Zuiderent was playing in his and his country's second full ODI, and made 54 as an 18-year-old.
- The second, and most recent, 50-over meeting occurred in East London in the 2003 World Cup, and was a much more one-sided affair. James Anderson, blazing a trail in his maiden international season, claimed 4 for 25 as the Dutch crashed to 142 all out.
- Paul Collingwood has played two matches in his career against the Dutch … and lost them both. The most recent was of course the Lord's Twenty20, but he first tasted defeat while playing for Durham at Amstelveen in the third round of the NatWest Trophy in 1999. He made 7 from 39 balls in a five-wicket defeat.
"[Losing intensity] was an accusation that could have been levelled during the one-day series in Australia. But not the World Cup. We're up for it. There's a good vibe and buzz about everything out here at the moment."
Andrew Strauss promises there will be no post-Ashes hangover in England's performances on the subcontinent
"Certainly half the squad were there on that evening and they are fully aware of what is possible on any given day. I know it was a shorter version but they are going to take quite a bit of confidence out of that victory into this."
The Dutch coach Peter Drinnen knows his team will remember that winning feeling after their heroics at Lord's two years ago