ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Netherlands World Cup squad complete analysis. Strengths & weakness of Netherlands side in World Cup 2023
After 12 years of long wait, the Netherlands cricket team has managed to pull off a miracle by qualifying for the ICC Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup for the fifth time. They previously featured in the 1996, 2003, 2007, and 2011 editions. Let’s trace their 2023 World Cup journey starting from the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers.
Netherlands run in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers
Although the Netherlands experienced an early defeat, losing to Zimbabwe in the tournament starter, they quickly bounced back with consecutive victories over USA and Nepal. The highlight of their campaign was the game against the mighty West Indies, where they won the Super Over comfortably. Toppling the 2-time ODI World Cup champions, the Dutch earned two crucial points to enter the Super Six stage.
In a shocking turn of events, Scott Edwards-led Netherlands secured their berth for the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup - becoming the 10th team in the competition. They achieved this by defeating Scotland, who were being considered as probable for the tournament in India.
A few could say that Netherlands’ ultimate prize is getting a chance to take part in the quadrennial competition. On their road to the 2023 Cricket World Cup, they defeated West Indies in the qualifiers, a feat many would consider beyond their limits. But should they aspire to do more? Let’s dissect!
Dependency on batting prowess
Netherlands' possibilities in the World Cup rely heavily on their batting line-up, led by their able captain and wicketkeeper Scott Edwards - who has been their top scorer consistently for the last three years. To enhance the firepower in the batting unit there is opener Vikramjit Singh who excelled in the World Cup Qualifiers. Middle-order batter Teja Nidamanuru also scored a beautiful hundred against the West Indies during qualifiers.
Appending valuable experience to the Netherlands squad are Van Der Merwe and Ackerman, who played key roles in the ICC Men’s T20I World Cup in Australia last year. Ackerman emerged as the second-highest scorer of his team, while Van proved his prowess with both the bat and ball. They possess exquisite experience from playing diverse domestic leagues around the globe.
The Netherlands also pin their hopes on opener Max O’Dowd, who averages 37.35 in ODI cricket. Meanwhile, star all-rounder Bas de Leede is likely going to be a gamechanger for the team. De Leede, the best all-rounder in the Dutch team, boasts an excellent record with 765 ODI runs and 24 wickets to his name.
How does the bowling attack look without Fred Klassen?
The Dutch bowling attack, which consists of Logan van Beek, van Meekeren, and Klein, aims to get early wickets - especially against teams with weaker middle order, often restraining their scores to a manageable range. However, the absence of left-arm pacer Fred Klaassen in the side leaves their bowling department vulnerable.
The team has relied heavily on Klaassen's economical bowling in recent years, with the 30-year-old taking 32 ODI wickets at an impressive economy rate of 4.31.
"Obviously Fred would be gutted to miss out. He would have been a big part of the bowling attack," Head Coach Ryan Cook had said.
Do the men in Orange have enough tweakers?
It is a big problem if any team is going to play in Asia and they lack the spin wizards who can baffle the batters. The Netherlands face a challenge in this regard due to a dearth of quality spin options.
Spinner Tim Pringle is currently recuperating from a significant surgical treatment, even though he is set to be the pinnacle preference as an injury back-up, as was confirmed by the head coach.
Meanwhile, Sybrand Engelbrecht has been called up for his first Senior World Cup, making his debut in the prestigious tournament. Earlier, he represented South Africa in the 2008 U-19 Cricket World Cup.
In the last three years, the Dutch spinners have taken just 66 wickets at an average of 53.43—a poor figure, especially considering that the Indian playing conditions favor spin.
In the end, it all boils down to experience
Despite their confidence stemming from winning qualifiers, the Dutch team lacks enough experience in one-day cricket. Having participated in four World Cups, they have never recorded a win against a Test-playing nation, managing just two victories against Namibia and Scotland in 2003 and 2007.
Their struggle with superior teams was evident when they nearly conceded 500 runs against England last summer, which clearly highlighted their shortcomings while facing elite teams. Moreover, the Netherlands has a severe problem in the spin department, which makes them even more vulnerable in Asian conditions.
An inspiration to many budding cricketing nations
While the Netherlands are unlikely to reach the semi-finals, they do have the ability to upset some high-profile teams and improve their modest World Cup record. Their remarkable journey, from obscurity to getting a chance to compete with cricketing giants, is an inspiration for emerging cricketing nations. Fans are eagerly waiting for the team’s nine matches, and are hoping that the quality of cricket would be above par in all of them. They are maybe also praying that the Dutch emulate Afghanistan’s ability to stun tough opponents, as it happened in the 2019 World Cup.
Netherlands will clash with Pakistan on October 6 at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, this will be their opening game of the World Cup 2023.
Netherlands 2023 World Cup squad: Scott Edwards (c & wk), Max O'Dowd, Bas de Leede, Vikram Singh, Teja Nidamanuru, Paul van Meekeren, Colin Ackermann, Roelof van der Merwe, Logan van Beek, Aryan Dutt, Ryan Klein, Wesley Barresi, Saqib Zulfiqar, Shariz Ahmad, Sybrand Engelbrecht.