The only Associate team to have beaten a Test playing nation twice in T20 Internationals, the Netherlands hold the ability to upstage their fancied opponents on the big stage.
After their fine run in the previous edition of the World T20 in Bangladesh, where they outwitted Ireland and England en route their entry to the Super 10 stage, the Netherlands have made it to the preliminary stage of this edition of the event to be held in India next month and coach Anton Roux believes his boys can make a mark in the tournament.
Captained by Peter Borren, they enter the event with the confidence of having finished atop in the WT20 qualifiers and Roux feels the evolution of the team has been for the better. “The team has evolved and striven for consistency and the results are to be seen.
We are lying second in the Interncontinental Cup and first in the World Cricket League. We have put up good back to back performances in the recent past,” said Roux, on the sidelines of their 12-day training camp here at Alur grounds.
Looking ahead of their Group A opener against Bangladesh, Roux opined that both the teams will be under the same amount pressure and the game will be a crucial one for the Netherlands. “Any group is tough at this level. We are concentrating on putting a good performance against Bangladesh. That’s our first goal.”
Two years ago, the Netherlands cut a sorry picture when they failed to make it to the group phase of the 2014 World Cup qualifier in New Zealand. But they re-grouped in brilliant fashion in the same year to experience a memorable World T20 tournament.
Recollecting the team’s journey through the highs and lows, Roux said that the pressure to qualify was immense. “I don’t think people realise how much pressure teams playing in the qualifiers feel. Every single match is very important. We definitely felt relieved. Now, we really got to relish the opportunity.”
Speaking on the team, Roux said his boys can produce a strong show. “We have got players who have played more than 100 games for the Netherlands.”
Seasoned campaigner Tom Cooper has been added to the team.
DH News Service