Bakker urges Dutch to come out fighting
Paul Jan-Bakker, Netherlands' newly appointed coach, says his team will be going all out to win the ICC Intercontinental Cup match against Canada in Toronto, starting on Thursday.
Bakker, who took over the reins from Peter Cantrell following the World Cup in the West Indies earlier this year, said players learn more in attempting to win matches than they do from playing out negative draws, even if they end up losing more games along the way.
"I played a lot of this sort of cricket and I always enjoyed going for the win rather than the draw," Bakker, 49, said. "I'll be bringing that same mentality to my job as coach. I want to make it a good game with an exciting final day if possible. I want it to be interesting. I think you learn more from being positive, even if you end up losing the match."
The four-day match gets under way at Ontario on Thursday with the Netherlands keen to reproduce the sort of form that gave them a seven-wicket victory over Canada in this competition last year.
With some players unavailable, Bakker has given the chance to some inexperienced players to show him that they can make the step up from the Hoofdklasse - Netherlands' domestic competition - to the international stage. There are three debutants in the current squad for the tour to Canada, all having shown good form for their clubs.
"Bowlers have to realise that in four-day cricket they have to take wickets - it's not enough just to be economical - and batsmen have to occupy the crease for long periods, and set targets for themselves based on sessions," Bakker said. "You have to go for the kill sometimes and really attack the opposition."
Mudassar Bukhari, the allrounder; the wicketkeeper Atse Buurman Mangesh Panchal, the legspinner, get the chance to make names for themselves. Panchel comes in as a late replacement for Mohammed Kashif, who has been forced to withdraw due to a family bereavement, and has been in excellent form for his club this season with 19 wickets at 10.89. Bas Zuiderent and Ryan ten Doeschate are unavailable, though Bakker hopes both will be fit to play in next month's quadrangular, involving the West Indies, Scotland and the hosts Ireland.
Meanwhile, Canada will also be without some of their more experienced players, with both John Davison and Steve Welsh unavailable. However Ashish Bagai, the captain, is sees it as an opportunity to blood new talent and identifies his role as one of rebuilding towards qualification for the next World Cup in 2011.
"I am looking towards the World Cup qualifiers in 2009 and what we want to do is start building a team for that event," Bagai said. "We went into that match without any match practice and not having had a coach since the World Cup. Now we are in the middle of our season. We are fitter, better prepared and ready for the challenge.
"I know the Dutch are missing a few players and I think if we do all the little things right, we should win... I am enjoying my role now as captain. I have the support of all the players, which is awesome, and I'm looking forward to the game."
Ashish Bagai (captain), Ashishkumar Patel, Ashif Mulla, Geoff Barnett, Henry Osinde, Kevin Sandher, Qaiser Ali, Sunil Dhaniram, Shahzad Khan, Trevin Bastiampillai, Umar Bhatti, Mohsin Mulla, Durand Soraine.
Jeroen Smits (captain), Peter Borren, Mudassar Bukhari, Atse Buurman, Tom de Grooth, Mark Jonkman, Alexei Kervezee, Mangesh Panchal, Adeel Raja, Darron Reekers, Edgar Schiferli, Billy Stelling, Eric Szwarczynski.
Darrell Hair and Roger Dill