ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

England v Netherlands, Group B, World Cup 2011, Nagpur

England save themselves Oranje faces

Dileep Premachandran at the VCA Stadium

February 22, 2011

Comments: 34 | Text size: A | A

On the eve of this match, Andrew Strauss said: "How we win isn't as important as just winning." It will give him little satisfaction that his team took that literally, producing an unbelievably slipshod display in the field before Strauss and the rest of the batsman save themselves Oranje faces with a competent performance.

With four overs to go, England needed 33. They had six wickets in hand, so it wasn't quite squeaky-bum time, but it was close. Unfortunately for the Netherlands, they didn't have a Dirk Nannes or anyone of similar quality to put the foot on the throat. Ryan ten Doeschate, the star of the show, had bowled out, and Pieter Seelaar and Bernard Loots couldn't cope with the experience of Paul Collingwood and the free-stroking instinct of Ravi Bopara.

Four years ago, one of the Associate nations, Ireland, upset Pakistan at Sabina Park after a superb bowling display. The Netherlands failed to follow suit because they lacked that bit of quality with ball in hand. With Strauss and Kevin Pietersen starting so well, those that followed never had to take undue risks to chase down the runs.

Strauss spoke afterwards of how the team had come to Nagpur, "feeling comfortable and determined to start well", after an emphatic warm-up victory against Pakistan in Fatullah. But on a benign pitch where teams had crossed 300 thrice in four previous innings, the bowling plans were exposed.

Asked afterwards if the performance had been acceptable, Strauss said: "Certainly not with the ball and in the field. The last 10 overs were especially poor. We can't afford to drop that many chances. I thought 290 was far too many."

The quick bowlers had some success with the short ball early on, but were guilty of overusing it later in the innings. Once the ball had gone soft, it sat up and begged to be hit. Ten Doeschate and his team-mates duly obliged.

With no swing in the air and no reverse later on, James Anderson struggled right through. The length he bowled late on was perfect for the batsmen to have a swing at and there were too few yorkers, despite Stuart Broad taking two wickets by keeping it full.

"It was one of those pitches where it was hard to wrest momentum and hard to take wickets," said Strauss when asked to explain the pace bowlers' off-colour display. If there was a positive, he said, it was Graeme Swann, who bowled quite beautifully on his return to the side. "He was excellent, economical and threatening as well."

There were no teacups thrown, or TV sets smashed, in the dressing room at the interval, though Strauss did admit: "We were a little bit shell-shocked at what happened in the final 10 overs.

"I told the boys that the score wasn't that much above par. There was no point dwelling too much on what had happened. It was a bit of a shemozzle on the field."

Pietersen was guilty of trying to hit the ball too hard when England came out for the chase, but Strauss paced his 88 perfectly, making the most of far too many deliveries angled at his pads. The flick and glance were routinely used as the Netherlands let themselves down at a time when a wicket or two could have meant intolerable pressure.

As dismayed as he was with the first half of the game, Strauss was generous in his praise for the opposition. "You've got to give a lot of credit to the Netherlands," he said. "Ten Doeschate's done that a lot for Essex, but on the big stage it's a hard thing to do."

India await on Sunday, and as unconvincing as this performance was, both teams will start with two points. "Hopefully, India will take us lightly after this performance," said Strauss in a rare moment of levity. With Virender Sehwag and friends in such thumping form, being the unfancied underdog might just be England's best bet. That, and some extra pace and bounce in the Bangalore pitch.

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Dileep Premachandran


Comments: 34 
. Your ESPN name '' will be used to display your comments. Please click here to edit this.
Comments have now been closed for this article

Posted by Mark on (February 24, 2011, 8:16 GMT)

@Nipun to be fair, the English media did give the Netherlands a lot of credit, especially ten Doeschate (as he has played english county cricket for years and years, so we know him quite well). As for if the game was against a top side like India I am sure there would still be criticism, if they had played like that against India it would have been a massive loss... 400+ score and run chase nowhere near. Lets just hope they step up against the best side in the tournament.

Posted by Andrew on (February 24, 2011, 5:09 GMT)

@voma - I'm fine mate, & you? I've said elsewhere that the W/Cup isn't won in the first week. So the result itself isn't of big concern other then the Poms won. The batting looked good - but the Dutch don't really have a strong bowling line up, so that will remain to be seen. Anderson is a worry in that you don't expect him to go for that many, but he also got belted in the ODIs in Oz, (I've forgotten about the Ashes already!!!). England won the T20 without him, I think they might need to look at Shahzad if he is fit. He seems to have a lot of variation which could be a good option there. Was only going for the Dutch as they were the underdogs, so under that premise I am actually going for a Pommie victory against the Indians & Saffas. They will need to improve about 300% to do that though!

Posted by joel on (February 23, 2011, 18:53 GMT)

Hello meety , how are you ? . . Right if the Dutch beat England we would be getting pratically the same comments and headlines we are getting here . If England had hammered them , England would still get very little credit ! . Yes they played very well the netherlands but it just wasnt quite enough . and i can assure you i am very worried if we bowl like that again . Andersons career in odi is nearly over . sadly

Posted by John on (February 23, 2011, 13:14 GMT)

@Meety, yeah I remembered that rule shortly after I posted. While England played horribly in this game, I'm not sure if they've reached their nadir yet. Maybe a little further for them to fall before they start improving.

Posted by Cricket on (February 23, 2011, 11:53 GMT)

I loved to see that minnow Dutch to WIN the game.

Posted by si on (February 23, 2011, 10:03 GMT)

Another abject allround display from the lacklustre Pietersen, 39 from 61 balls is hardly what he was required to do, especially after holding the management to ransom re the opening slot, or perhaps his new role is to graft out the runs and bat long.....well, he failed at that also. Add in the woeful 2 overs and the easiest of dropped chances, please reconsider your retirement from ALL International cricket and concentrate on playing near the wife and kids. The hype is well and truely over!!!

Posted by Prince on (February 23, 2011, 9:38 GMT)

Hardly any mentions of how well the Dutch & particularly Ryan Ten Doeschate played..just quibbles about England's woefulness ! Why are these so called big-nations so reluctant to give credit to these lesser sides ? Had it been the Indians or the Australians,there would have been just the odd quibble ; now,since it's the Dutch,there's just the odd praise ! Ridiculous & shameful !

Posted by Deon on (February 23, 2011, 8:38 GMT)

Ten Doeschate is to ODI cricket what Kallis is to Test cricket. And they grew up virtually next door to each other! (Goodwood and Pinelands are adjacent suburbs in Cape Town.)

Posted by Junaid on (February 23, 2011, 7:36 GMT)

it is now confirmed.....england are not WC winning material so now the teams left who can wiin WC are Pakistan and SA only

Posted by Andrew on (February 23, 2011, 6:27 GMT)

@ Something_Witty - I think because Nannes after the T20 W/Cup started playing for Oz - he would have to re-qualify (4yrs). I reckon because he is apparantly surplus to Oz needs he should of been allowed to play for the Dutch. I have a smirk about what COULD of been if he played & knocked over an early wicket or two!!!!

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 23, 2011, 5:41 GMT)

i never liked bresnan or anderson...i remember tamim wamming bresnan all over lords and manchester....waiting to see what sehwag, sachin and gambhir does to them....

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 23, 2011, 5:22 GMT)

Saying that India has a weak bowling attack is naive and foolish. Yes Bangladesh scored 283 runs but that was majorly because of sreesanth's faliure(who won't be playing agaist england). Rest of the 3 bowlers bowled 30 overs in that match and picked up 7 wickets giving away 129 runs at 4.3 per over. The pitch was absolutely flat and the slowness of the pitch was gone when Bang was batting due to the dew. How can you forget that the same Indian team restricted Aus to 176 in the practice match? They also restricted SA to 189 in Johannesberg. Coupled with India's strongest batting line up in the world, India has the most balanced team in this WC. So please don't make baseless comments. cheers!!

Posted by Samar on (February 23, 2011, 4:42 GMT)

Both India and England are not going to win this WC .. So let them just enjoy the upcoming game ... from my point of view who ever bats first will win the match...both england and India has a very poor WC record , India chasing records are even worst ... Srilanka , SA , and Aussies are the fav this time... It is not easy to win all 3 knockout matches with bat only , bowlers too need to perform which India lacks since the history ...

Posted by Bryn on (February 23, 2011, 4:00 GMT)

england are not as good as bangladesh. i honestly cant wait to see if they can get out of the group. if nannes was playing england what have been thumped

Posted by Maulik on (February 23, 2011, 3:37 GMT)

.... Guys play two spinners against England...

Take Ashwin instead of Sreesant.... Bcoz Piyush is leg-spinner.. he can either be too good or too bad. And with 4 bowlers I can't see a room for that.

Posted by John on (February 23, 2011, 3:24 GMT)

Yeah that's a point. Tom Cooper was playing for the Dutch boys, why wasn't Nannes there? If he'd been bowling, NL would have breezed it in. Still, I would expect England to improve quickly after this...

Posted by Om Raj on (February 23, 2011, 3:17 GMT)

It doesn't matter weather India bat first or second because England is nowhere in front of India. India will teach England how 2 play ODI... who is murali?, who is warne? in front of indian batsman, even god can't do anything for swan from being delicious food for indian batsman. If ind bat 1st 325-400 will be the score and if eng bat 1st then nearly 270. So good luck for both the team team.

Posted by Anjana on (February 23, 2011, 3:07 GMT)

I beg India to thrash England!

Posted by Prakhar on (February 23, 2011, 2:58 GMT)

england is a very good team but yesterday was not their day , though they won the game, it was not a convincing one i expected a lot from doeschate and he really stood out on my expectations, well done as an associate team, they have really performed well in comparison to other teams such as canada , kenya or zimbabwe reckon if they had 2-3 good bowlers, they would be a hindrance to any good team in the cup

Posted by muhammad on (February 23, 2011, 1:59 GMT)

Well India vs England... A match between two side with rubbish bowling attack. Any team win the toss should bat first an post big total. Guys seriously srilanka, south Africa or Pakistan will lift the cup.

Posted by Charles on (February 23, 2011, 1:14 GMT)


What on earth has that got to do with the 50 over game? England have been perennial also rans in WC tournaments for the last 20 years and this promises to be no different. Ineffectual bowling attack and stodgy batting lineup makes for grim watching. Hope they can bring India down a peg or two on Sunday but not in the least optimistic after today's dismal display

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 23, 2011, 1:09 GMT)

@ srijsen ....Dude! Only sreeshanth had a bad ( awful suits perfect ) day vs Ban , the rest did just well......it was a good batting wicket and India were bowling with dew setting in.....Imagine a bowling line-up with in-form Zak , Bhajji , Munaf , Ashwin/Piyush.....England can't even handle Yuvi on sub-continent tracks (beware Pietersen! ) let alone the rest....think India can do pretty well with 270 on board against England......an extremely over-rated team barring Swann.....

Posted by Dennis on (February 23, 2011, 0:17 GMT)

England was rubbish ! Can,t see India and BD having to much trouble betting them .

Posted by Moha on (February 22, 2011, 23:10 GMT)

England are very very overrated team after winning Ashes (against the weakest Australian team in decades).

Posted by Amar on (February 22, 2011, 22:24 GMT)

@ voma: after watching england's bowling against netherlands, I would worry about your own bowling issues first and then worry about India's....without much swing, anderson looked lost out there.

Posted by Andrew on (February 22, 2011, 22:11 GMT)

@voma - "..we have little to fear.." - whilst it was a win, & I subscribe to the old "a wins a win" line, I think conceeding NEARLY 300 against the Netherlands would have to be a worry! England SHOULD improve, whilst the heading says "..England save themselves Oranje faces.." I think they're slightly red-faced. Imagine if Nannes was bowling for the Netherlands!!!!!

Posted by Kalyanaraman on (February 22, 2011, 22:11 GMT)

It will be interesting to see if India plays two spinners against England in Bangalore. Piyush Chawla may just get the nod ahead of Sreeshant. Even Ashwin could be picked instead of Sreeshant if India wants a spinner in the powerplay overs. The comments about India's bowling is a bit unfair. Zaheer and Munaf patel bowled pretty well as did Harbhajan.

Posted by Srijit on (February 22, 2011, 21:58 GMT)

Dont think it will be so easy for India. The bowlers are rubbish and England can score 300-325 batting first or second (given that India never realised BD also got close to 300). Sehwag and co have to be in peak for and atleast geta score of 350. The larger question is gow long will India bank on its batsmen. What if India bats first in a crucial game and gets only 270?

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 22, 2011, 20:53 GMT)

Cant just wait for India Vs England....

Posted by joel on (February 22, 2011, 20:53 GMT)

Bring on India , cant wait till sunday . England must drop anderson and rest collingwood . Tremlett and yardy will fill there places nicely . Paul collingwood can be used in the other games , its a long tournment . India have magnificent batsmen , but there bowlers ?? . After watching bangladesh maul them , we have little to fear .

Posted by Sab on (February 22, 2011, 20:42 GMT)

English bowlers are gonna come hard on Indian batsmen. Its not going to be a cake walk for India. Just because of a rusty bowling performance we cannot take anything away from England. Its going to be a 'clash of titans' between these two teams. The team which plays better will win. Good luck to England and India.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 22, 2011, 20:36 GMT)

Five good bowlers are necessary to win although most think that this is mainly a batsman's game. How many teams can boast of their bowling. All batters are alike when they swing reverse sweep and what not. A better bowling side has definitely got an edge.

Posted by umesh on (February 22, 2011, 20:34 GMT)

i m predicting a score of 350 plus ...if India bats first...and England around 250 in second innings...if India goes with two spinners... cant wait to see Sachin and Sehwag thrash these over rated Ashes winners and show them their actual place in ODI rankings... Dhoni pls win the toss this time... I want to c Swann all over the park...

Posted by Abhimanyu on (February 22, 2011, 20:29 GMT)

England are alright. India needs to worry about its woeful bowling attack against Bangladesh. If Indian bowlers were to bowl same way against England, India may lose even if India posts a decent total - England can scrore more faced with clueless Indian attack.

Email Feedback Print
Dileep PremachandranClose
Dileep Premachandran Associate editor Dileep Premachandran gave up the joys of studying thermodynamics and strength of materials with a view to following in the footsteps of his literary heroes. Instead, he wound up at the Free Press Journal in Mumbai, writing on sport and politics before Gentleman gave him a column called Replay. A move to MyIndia.com followed, where he teamed up with Sambit Bal, and he arrived at ESPNCricinfo after having also worked for Cricket Talk and total-cricket.com. Sunil Gavaskar and Greg Chappell were his early cricketing heroes, though attempts to emulate their silken touch had hideous results. He considers himself obscenely fortunate to have watched live the two greatest comebacks in sporting history - India against invincible Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001, and Liverpool's inc-RED-ible resurrection in the 2005 Champions' League final. He lives in Bangalore with his wife, who remains astonishingly tolerant of his sporting obsessions.
News | Features Last 3 days

World Cup Videos