Jeroen Smits unavailable for Scotland clash
Peter Borren, the Netherlands batsman, will replace Jeroen Smits as captain for his side's Intercontinental Cup match against Scotland beginning on Thursday at Mannofield Park in Aberdeen. Smits, who replaced Luuk van Troost as captain after the 2007 World Cup, is missing the match because of work-related commitments.
The Netherlands coach Paul-Jan Bakker, said that they could overcome Smits' absence and draw confidence from their victory against Canada in June. Borren had scored 105, his maiden first-class hundred, in the second innings of Netherlands' 45-run win against Canada.
"I am sure that the boys will not be affected by this latest setback and will keep the momentum going," Bakker said. "Peter [Borren] is an excellent batsman and has shown his talent on more than one occasion. But he can't live on tales and will need to start all over again. While saying this, I am sure he is also looking forward to the new challenge [captaincy] and will try to make the most of it."
Bas Zuiderent and Ryan ten Doeschate both missed the game against Canada and remained unavailable for the match against Scotland. Netherlands were further depleted with medium-pacers Edgar Schiferli and Mark Jonkman and offspinner Adeel Raja pulling out due to injuries.
"We can't have a full-strength team all the time, which means there will always be opportunities for the youngsters," Bakker said. "Now it is for them to take advantage of this and cement their places."
"Scotland are a strong team and we respect them. But I understand that they will also be without some of their key players. I think we both are in a situation where we have to fill gaps and hope that the youngsters will raise their hands, take responsibility and fill those gaps."
Scotland's Intercontinental Cup opener against United Arab Emirates in Ayr was washed out and the quadrangular series that followed, involving West Indies, Ireland and Netherlands, also affected by bad weather.
Scotland captain Ryan Watson acknowledged the importance of the match against Netherlands. "We are keen to do well in this competition so it's very important, after the UAE match was washed out, that we make the most of our remaining home games and take maximum points."
"Obviously, as our preparations are already limited by player availability because of their work commitments, we have been somewhat handicapped of late. But the Dutch also fell foul of the weather [in the quadrangular series] and are in similar circumstances, while they also play a lot on matting."
Scotland recalled fast bowlers Richie Berrington, who has played just one first-class match, and Gordon Drummond, who has appeared in four first-class matches, for the game against Netherlands. Gavin Hamilton, Dewald Nel and Glenn Rogers will return to the squad for the third match against Ireland in Stormont from August 9.
Despite their loss to Netherlands, Canada remained on top of the Intercontinental Cup table with 26 points from two games. Netherlands were second with 14 points from one game and, UAE and Scotland have three points from one game each. Bermuda, Ireland, Kenya and Namibia were yet to make an appearance.
Netherlands: Peter Borren (capt), Mudassar Bukhari, Atse Buurman, Tom de Grooth, Alexei Kervezee, Geert Maarten Mol, Mongesh Panchal, Jelte Schoonheim, Pieter Seelaar, Nick Statham, Eric Szwarzcynski, Somesh Kohli.
Scotland: Ryan Watson (capt), Richie Berrington, Fraser Watts, Craig Wright, John Blain, Gordon Drummond, Majid Haq, Omer Hussain, Paul Hoffmann, Ross Lyons, Qasim Sheikh, Neil McCallum, Simon Smith.