Cricket World Cup 2011

Preview: Eng vs Netherlands

2011-02-22 10:28
England's Kevin Pietersen. (Gallo)

Nagpur - India's City of Oranges, Nagpur, will play host to the opening match for both England and the Netherlands, as both teams look to kick their World Cup campaigns off to a positive start.

Whilst it's likely that England will come out on top, there is still the nagging memory of their shock defeat to the Men in Orange in the 2009 T20 World Cup. Both camps have played down the match, saying that both the format and the year are different, and that it doesn't help to focus on the past.

Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur

Form guide

England have struggled in their last few ODIs - suffering a big 6-1 series defeat to Australia on the back of their Ashes win. Their last five results include four losses, but they will hope to put that behind them in their opener.

The Netherlands have also had a mixed run-up to the World Cup, with four out of five of their recent ODIs ending in defeat.

Pitch and conditions

According to there has been a distinctly English feel to the weather in Nagpur in recent days, with cloud cover and drizzle in the air. Similar weather is forecast for the match which will suit both sides who are more used to cooler conditions. The surface is unlikely to offer an enormous amount of bounce and life, but overhead conditions may induce some swing for the likes of Ryan ten Doeschate and James Anderson.

Talking points

The big talking point is Kevin Pietersen's promotion to the top of the England order. It's not a role he has attempted too often in the past, although his 131 from 122 balls against India A in Bangalore seven years ago provides some evidence of what he might be able to achieve. Besides, so far in the tournament, No. 1 has been the place to bat, with Sehwag, Tamim, Dilshan and Watson all cashing in on their opportunities. KP's never better than when he has a point to prove.

Ryan ten Doeschate is the Netherlands' outstanding performer. A big-hitting and technically correct batsman, and a tricky seamer with a good change-up in pace and a range of subtle variations, he has honed his skills as a stalwart at Essex, and is the one Dutch player who would press for a place in the England middle-order. A lot will rest on his shoulders if they are to come close to matching their shock result two years ago.

Team news

Graeme Swann is back with England's squad after an eventful month which began with a back injury in Australia, and culminated in the birth of his first son, Wilfred, only days after his successful quashing of a drink-driving charge at Nottingham Magistrates' Court. Assuming he has regained his fitness and focus after all that, he'll be straight back into the side, and may be joined by the late squad addition Ravi Bopara, whose powerful strokeplay could be vital in the absence of Eoin Morgan.

Squads (likely)

England: Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Strauss (capt), Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior (wk), Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

Netherlands: Alexei Kervezee, Wesley Barresi (wk), Eric Szwarczynski, Tom Cooper, Ryan ten Doeschate, Peter Borren (capt), Bas Zuiderent, Tom de Grooth, Mudassar Bukhari, Adeel Raja, Bradley Kruger.

Stats and trivia

The first meeting between these two teams came in Peshawar exactly 15 years ago, when Graeme Hick's century proved the difference between two improbably well-matched teams. Bas Zuiderent was playing in his and his country's second full ODI, and made 54 as an 18-year-old.

The second, and most recent, 50-over meeting occurred in East London in the 2003 World Cup, and was a much more one-sided affair. James Anderson, blazing a trail in his maiden international season, claimed 4 for 25 as the Dutch crashed to 142 all out.

Paul Collingwood has played two matches in his career against the Dutch … and lost them both. The most recent was of course the Lord's Twenty20, but he first tasted defeat while playing for Durham at Amstelveen in the third round of the NatWest Trophy in 1999. He made 7 from 39 balls in a five-wicket defeat.

Source info from


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