Netherlands were on the receiving end of a brutal defeat at the hands of India by 56 runs. But it wasn’t just a clash for the Dutch players, who wanted to seek more from the experience than just the result. Paul van Meekeren was one of them, who insisted that it gave them the opportunity to test their skills against the best of players.
“Look, It's fun. You don't get these opportunities very often. I think our approach was at the end of the day it's someone holding a bat. Bit of roots,” Meekeren said after the clash against India.
“Trying to keep it as simple as possible. Stick to your own strengths and stay one ball at a time. Tonight was not our night, but I think the guys thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Netherlands started the game strong against the Men in Blue but as the game proceeded, they were dealt with reality check, courtesy of the partnership between Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav.
“But I think, firstly, I'm very proud about how we went about it. Them being one down. It could have been a lot more. We could have panicked and lost our heads, but I think all the bowlers stayed very clear on what they wanted to do. They came with good plan, stuck to it, and then just try and execute,” he added.
“I think we know how good Sky is. Over the last 12 months, if not longer, I've personally felt he was the biggest threat to bowl to. Just with his open stance, I just felt that the margin of error was a lot smaller compared to Kohli and maybe a bit more traditional.”
The Dutch side have a peculiar issue, with the availability of players being marred with the county schedule. Meekeren said that having players available for the tournament makes them a strong team.
“Big. Obviously, having the county guys available for a tournament like this makes us a stronger team, but I think that we didn't have the county guys available during the summer playing against Pakistan, West Indies, and England actually took a lot of guys to the next level,” he adds.
Cricket is growing from strength to strength in Holland, and Meekeren wants more of the top teams to travel to Netherlands, instead of counties.
“So there's no reason why Test teams can't come to Holland instead of playing the counties. And hopefully as a non-cricketing nation, these big players can walk the streets without being recognized so they have more freedom playing in Holland. We've got the facilities.
We can be as competitive as playing the warm-up game against other countries. Why not come to Holland for ten days before they travel to England?”