India are going to be a very tough team to beat, says Roelof van der Merwe

by IANS |

Bengaluru, Nov 13 (IANS) Netherlands’ veteran left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe believes India are going to be a very tough team to beat as the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup approaches its business end. His comments come after Netherlands ended their campaign with a 160-run loss to India at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

India made 410/4, as KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer made centuries, with captain Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli making half-centuries. In reply, the Netherlands were bowled out for 250 in 47.5 overs, with Teja Nidamanuru being the only batter to get a fifty, and end the tournament at tenth place in the points table.

“Look, India is a very well-balanced side. They have match winners all the way through. They have shown it in this World Cup thus far. They are going to be a very tough team to beat.”

“The other teams also, South Africa has got match winners in their team and the consistency of New Zealand and Australia is there. So, it's going to be very, very interesting, but I think India does shape up well,” said van der Merwe in the post-match press conference.

The Netherlands came into the tournament on the back of being second in World Cup qualifiers in June and had no international fixtures coming into the main event. The bottom of the points table doesn’t tell the full story as the Netherlands got the better of more-fancied South Africa and Bangladesh in the competition.

“We came here and we understood the challenge of this World Cup against high-quality teams. I think we did carry ourselves well. Obviously, there's so much improvement that still needs to happen. But I think the boys stuck to it and we've got to look to the next tournament whenever that is and just improve,” added van der Merwe, who took Kohli’s wicket in the match.

Skipper Scott Edwards said in the post-match presentation ceremony that the Netherlands knew it would be a tough tournament before landing in India. "We played two good games of cricket, gave ourselves opportunities in other games which we'd have liked to win. Little bit of a tricky one to say where we were compared to where we wanted to be. We were pretty confident with the style we play. Coming into the tournament, we knew it's going to be a tough tournament."

Netherlands will have World Cricket League 2 against Nepal and turn their attention towards playing in 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup in the West Indies and USA. “Playing against India, they're as good a side as there is going around. We've got a lot to learn, lot to get better before the T20 World Cup next year. They (India) showed pure class with the bat, there's plenty to learn off that.”

“There were periods where we bowled well, they just soaked up the pressure. If you're three down with 10 overs to go, you're gonna make some runs. They are going to be an extremely hard side to beat in this tournament. We are a very young side, lot of young guys in the set-up, it is about growth for us. We've got some training camps and things like that's coming up," concluded Edwards.

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