Just like any other greenhorns, the Netherlands will be eager to make their World Cup campaign memorable while upsetting a big team or two, something that makes the tale of underdogs so endearing. They had shown signs of their potential while beating two-time champions the West Indies, Scotland, the USA, Oman, and Nepal in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2023.
But it would be easier said than done as the Netherlands lack experience and international exposure, which they will look to gather from the showpiece.
The Netherlands biggest strength is the presence of a number of all-rounders in their squad, which is vital in white-ball cricket. In Bas de Leede, Teja Nidamanuru, Max O’Dowd, Colin Ackermann, Shariz Ahmad, and Roelof van der Merwe, the Dutch are blessed with some exciting all-round options who have the ability to turn a match on its head.
Besides, there won’t be any pressure or expectations on the Dutchmen, which would augur well for them on a big stage.
The Netherlands are vulnerable against spin, and it was quite evident in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers. Tackling spinners in Indian conditions will be the Dutch side’s biggest challenge.
One weaker link for the Netherlands is their spin attack. With just one main-line spinner in Aryan Dutt in their ranks, the department lacks sting, and they will have to rely on captain Scott Edwards’ part-time spin.
Cricket not being the number one sport in the Netherlands, the Dutch players hardly get opportunities to rub shoulders with the best, and the World Cup will provide them the opportunity to compete against the likes of India, Australia, England, and Pakistan, among others. But the Netherlands are largely an unknown entity for the big teams, and they should try to exploit that unfamiliarity factor. The tournament is also a chance for them to make a statement before the world with some upset victories and, who knows, probably a place in the next stage. After all, miracles are an unavoidable part of sports.