Monday, 21 February 2011

England vs Netherlands - a preview

England and the Netherlands have been to war more often than they have played ODIs.  Fantasy Bob will leave it to his readers whether that says anything about the ICC objective of developing standards in associate countries.  The rich get richer.

Close fielders
during the Anglo Dutch
war of 1666
There were 4 Anglo Dutch wars in the 17th and 18th Centuries as the 2 maritime nations struggled for supremacy over global trade.  Of course, had the Dutch been victorious the British Empire might not have been, and the spread of cricket might not have taken place and this world cup would not be happening.  Whew!  Or it would be a competition of a Dutch type sport - speed skating for example.  One of the supreme ironies of history is that England (latterly Britain as the English called the Scots, and their banking nous, from the subs bench to help them) was ultimately victorious because of the strength of her banking system.  And now we face an uncertain financial and economic future because of factors associated with the banking system.  How things are reversed - is this an omen for the Netherlands team?  Despite their upset in the T20 at Lords 2 years ago, don't bet on it.

Both the 2 previous ODI meetings between the warring maritime states have been in world cups, in 1996 and in 2003 and both times the Dutch were worsted, although not as severely as the minor teams in this World Cup so far.  Of the 2003 England team only Collingwood and Anderson survive the 6 wicket win.  Netherlands also has 2 survivors in Bas Zuiderent and Adeel Raja.

This is the fourth visit of the Netherlands to the World Cup.  Out of 14 previous games they have managed to win twice against Namibia in 2003 and Scotland in 2007.  A further reflection of the challenge facing the associates in stepping up to this level of competition.  Such is the structure of the competition that Netherlands may well be scrapping this time for supremacy at the bottom of the table with Ireland.  there must be something better.

What do Netherlands need to do to get England in trouble?  Ever helpful FB suggests that they get Pietersen early.  Is KP's alleged weakness against left armers going to be a factor?  How early does skipper Borren bring his left armer Pieter Seelaar on?  Is he the man to do it? Fascinating questions.

Even though FB would like England to win the competition, he would also like to see the minor teams give a good account of themselves.  So come on Netherlands, make England work hard - let's have the first properly competitive match in the tournament.

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