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World Cup 2023: Netherlands Bank On Camps, Practice Matches In India To Make An Impact

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Bengaluru, Aug 26 (PTI) Netherlands might be entering the ICC World Cup 2023 as rank outsiders, but their coach Ryan Cook is banking on camps in India and practice matches to make an impact in the quadrennial extravaganza.

Netherlands will arrive in India mid-September to have an acclimatization camp in Bengaluru, where they will play a couple of local sides.

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Following that, they will face India and Australia in the pre-tournament warm-up matches at Thiruvananthapuram.

Cook hoped that the time spent in India would blend with his team’s inherent desire to win matches.

“We are preparing as hard as we can. There will be a couple of camps and practice matches in India. We hope they will serve us well in the tournament proper. Once you enter the tournament, it will be inspirational for everyone to do well,” Cook said on Saturday while addressing a select media gathering.

The Dutchmen qualified for the World Cup earlier in July ahead of teams like two-time champions West Indies.

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However, since that day they have not played any international matches, leaving them a tad raw ahead of the big-ticket event to be played in India across October and November.

The furrows on Dutch faces will grow long as they are yet to win a World Cup match in India despite playing in two editions – 1996 and 2011.

But Netherlands captain Scott Edwards did not read much into the history.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily something that we look into the past. I think you’ve got pretty much a completely different squad. So, we’re just looking at it from that point of view of the team. You know, we feel like we’ve put a lot of decent performances on the board over the past two years,” said Edwards.

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Netherlands will face India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the World Cup league stage.

The Orange Army has played against both SL and Pakistan in the last one year, bringing in a bit of familiarity factor.

Cook said while the past experience will stand them in good stead, the team will have to be more clinical in the big tournament, especially against spinners.

“Obviously, they’ve got quality spinners, and we didn’t play that well (in the past). So, for us, we’ve just got to be more clinical when we get those chances. We’ve just got to make sure we capitalise on them. We’ve put processes in place for that. We’ve been speaking in training for those situations.

Hopefully, you will make them count and win those games in the World Cup,” he said.

While the Netherlands are obviously short on top-flight cricket experience, they are rich in talent.

Players like Edwards, Logan Van Beek and Bas de Leede have shown that there is abundance of talent in the Netherlands, and many of them ply their trade in English league cricket as well.

Several of the Dutch players like Paul Van Meekeran have also played in T20 leagues across the world.

Cook wanted to build on those positives in the World Cup.

“We send a lot of guys out to different places over the winter, which I think develops them. I think previously, probably having, you know, sessions out here in the winter hasn’t produced some of the results that the guys might see.

“So a lot of the guys going out and playing. That will make a big difference (in the World Cup). I’m really excited about the squad.

“We’ve got a lot of young players, especially the local Dutch (cricketers), we’re all producing at the international level already,” added Cook.

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