England form no issue for Dutch
The Netherlands team manager Ed van Nierop insists his side have not been paying too much attention to England’s recent exploits in Australia ahead of the teams’ World Cup opener in Nagpur on Tuesday.
The Dutch head into the encounter as massive underdogs but will not be daunted at the prospect of facing Andy Flower’s side, who they famously beat at Lord’s in the 2009 World Twenty20.
England go into the match on the back of a mixed winter, with a hugely impressive Ashes series victory Down Under followed by a 6-1 defeat to Australia in the one-day series.
Van Nierop said: “Obviously they have done great in the Ashes and then in the ODIs not too great, and this is the one-day format.
“We’ll just go and have a go and see how good we are compared to the English. It’s not the short format we beat them in at Lord’s in 2009 but we have a decent line-up and we’ll do our best.
“We’ve been focusing on our own team - that’s what we should do. If we start focusing on our opponent that would be a distraction. We know what to expect."
Captain Peter Borren is expected to feature on Tuesday despite struggling over the past week with an injury which caused him trouble while bowling.
“He has a side strain but he’s good to go,” said Van Nierop. “He’ll have another fitness test tomorrow but he feels well.”
Also in the Dutch line-up is Essex all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate, possessor of the best batting and bowling average of anyone in this tournament.
He acknowledges those figures are “skewed” by facing Associate rather than Test nations for the most part. But ten Doeschate is not playing down the Netherlands’ prospects against England, who he senses may be vulnerable after their Ashes winter.
“It’s the best chance we’re going to have, in terms of where they are,” he said.
“They’ve had a few changes to their squad, a few injuries and a very long Australia tour behind them, so if there ever was a good chance to catch them it’s the first game again of another World Cup.
“We’ve done all our preparation and are in our best state to cause an upset. Beating them in England should stand us in good stead. When we walk out on Tuesday, we hope some of those feelings will come back.”
Ten Doeschate’s confidence is echoed by team-mate Bas Zuiderent, a former team-mate of Matt Prior and Michael Yardy at Sussex.
“There is massive belief in the team,” Zuiderent explained. “We really feel - and it is not just because of the Twenty20 win - that we can beat England.
“We’re going to play very positive cricket, stick to our game-plan and make it tough for them. If you go in there thinking you’ve got no chance, what are you doing there?”