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Nightmare of drubbing behind us: Borren

Netherlands captain says consistency is what separates the Full Members from the Associates, but insists his side is there to beat a top team

Nightmare of drubbing behind us: Borren - Cricket News
The Netherlands captain hopes his team can put up a better performance.
​Netherlands captain Peter Borren was confident his team could dust off the emphatic loss against Sri Lanka in its first game of the Super 10 stage of the ICC World Twenty20 2014, when it was scuttled for 39 and allowed to send down only five overs before the game was done. Borren wore the look of a determined man, and having taken a long, hard look at what went wrong, he realised that the only way was up for his team.

“We’re very keen to compete, we’ve got three more games to do that and obviously in the first game we didn’t compete at all. The team’s in pretty good spirits and a big motivation for us is to show that we can play,” said Borren. “We let ourselves down the other night, so we’ve refocused, the guys are training well and we’ve left that behind us. Hopefully we go out there and put up a better performance.”

It cannot be easy, however, to put such a comprehensive thrashing out of the mind. “We’ve done a bit of analysis and emotionally it was pretty tough. That evening, going back to the hotel, I think there were a few boys on suicide watch, so lock the doors... But woke up the next morning feeling pretty good, like it might have been a nightmare,” he said. “We’ve had a little bit of time now, the boys have refocused and we’re looking forward to making amends. That’s the focus, no one’s looking back too much. It was pretty difficult, the first day after, and after the next game we can completely forget about that Sri Lanka one. Before that, I guess it’s still at the back of our minds.”

Borren reiterated the Netherlands’ aim of beating a Full-Member nation before the tournament was done. “I think we have to look at our processes and how we go about the games. We’re looking to play with freedom and it’s difficult, when you get bowled out for such a low score, to say that we’re going to play with freedom,” he said. “The thing is, if you look at the wickets that fell, (Stephan) Myburgh is always going to play like that, (Michael) Swart’s was a pretty poor dismissal from him; but the rest of us maybe went into our shells a bit and we have to show more confidence than that,” said Borren. “It’s difficult after we’ve just been bowled out but hopefully we can get ourselves in a position where we can make an upset. That obviously is the motivation, we’ve got three more games, it’s T20, why wouldn’t we want to beat a Full Member? We’ve done it before and this is a talented squad. There’s probably a few people who doubt that, hopefully we can prove them wrong.”

Borren conceded that it was not going to be easy to topple South Africa, especially given the kind of performance Dale Steyn turned in against New Zealand. “Watching Dale bowl the other night... We’ve faced pace before, played South Africa and Steyn and Morne Morkel and done okay. He’s in fantastic form and it’s going to be someone that we’ll have to watch. Perhaps we’ll have to give him his four overs,” he said. “We’re not going to look to be too aggressive against him, probably, but it’s a bit more of an orthodox attack – world-class bowlers but we’ve faced them before, whereas perhaps a couple of the Sri Lankans had something completely different. It’s obviously a lot quicker than we’re used to, you saw the pace from Dale the other night, the Kiwis struggled with it, but we’ve faced them before so hopefully things go a bit better.”

He was also humble enough to realise that there was a gap between the manner in which Associate nations play in comparison to the big guns. “I think we’ve normally gone out and been pretty fearless against them but there’s a couple of things that stand out for me that the top teams do well. They’re very, very consistent in the areas when they bowl, they don’t bowl many bad balls, so whereas at Associate level you might get two balls an over to score off, at this level it’s normally one poor delivery, maybe not even that. They’ve very consistent,” said Borren. “The other one is they hit the ball a bit harder, I think. Guys hit the ball very hard these days, with big cricket bats, and with good wickets, how they hit the ball if you’re fielding in the circle, it seems to race to you. It’s not like we can’t do those things as well, we do – some of our guys smash it and bowl really hard. I really think the main difference is that consistency in hitting high standards. For us to compete we have to do the same. We have similar skills, we’ve got a bowler who bowls 150kmph, we’ve got guys with variety, we’ve got batters who can hit the ball out of the park, it’s just that consistency. We have to strive to get to that level, then we’ll compete.”

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