ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Netherlands v West Indies, World Cup 2011, Group B, Delhi

ten Doeschate looms as main threat

Firdose Moonda in Delhi

February 27, 2011

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If cricket was as big as international football is in the Netherlands, Ryan ten Doeschate may be remembered the same way Ryan Giggs is - a stand-out talent in a team that was always trying to punch above their weight.

ten Doeschate's hundred and 2 for 47 in the match against England are the only things people want to talk to the team about, as though the other 14 members of the squad don't exist, or if they do, they are mere minions and he is the Raja. For now, that's exactly what he is, being the current owner of the highest career batting average, 71. 21, and acts as the mascot for Dutch cricket. With him, the team must feel like anything is possible and Peter Borren said they are wary of being "too reliant" on him.

"Ryan's not going to score a hundred in every game of this World Cup, although it would be great if he did, but it's a big ask," Borren said. "We hope he does it every game, as I say, but if he doesn't we need someone to step up."

Tom Cooper came the closest to making that leap in the match against England and was part of the highest partnership of the innings - a 78-run third wicket stand with ten Doeschate. Cooper, who is from Australia, has an ODI average 63.60 and had scored three half-centuries and century in his first five ODIs. Most of his successes have come against associate opposition but having spent time on the Australian domestic circuit, his skills against players from bigger nations have been tested.

It's players like Cooper and Alex Kervezee, who like ten Doeschate was born in South Africa, that Borren was referring too when he that "the potential in our team for other guys to make big scores as well," exists. He understands that ten Doeschate will be the fulcrum around which the rest will rotate and hopes that he will fulfil the "anchor role" again.

Batting is the strength on which the Dutch are riding on, after they piled on the runs against England, may want to have the first knock against the West Indies, irrespective of conditions. "We batted first in the last game and got 290-odd and if we could do that again it wouldn't be a bad option," Borren said.

It will mean fielding under lights in Delhi, which will present a different challenge to the team than the one they faced in their first game. "In Nagpur the dew wasn't a factor, but we trained here last night and there is a bit of dew here in Delhi in the evening."

With all the focus on their own game, it may seem as though Netherlands have spared few thoughts for their opposition, West Indies. Borren discussed them on Saturday saying that his team knows the West Indies have "two or three of the most dangerous players in the world," at their disposal, and even without Dwayne Bravo they have "players who can do the job."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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