Dharamsala: The Netherlands’ belief in playing “total cricket” helped them secure their biggest victory at a World Cup when they beat high-flying South Africa by 38 runs on Tuesday, captain Scott Edwards said.
“Total football” was a concept pioneered by Dutch coach Rinus Michels where players seamlessly rotated in an out of each other’s positions, which brought Ajax Amsterdam huge success in the 1970s.
The Dutch cricket team applied something similar on Tuesday.
Bottom half comes to rescue
With the side reeling at 82-5, the bottom half of the order came to the rescue with the bat to post a competitive 245 total, led by the skipper’s unbeaten knock of 78.
“As a group, we pride ourselves on playing total cricket, which is guys that are coming in at No 8, nine and 10 have just as much of the ability to put on those partnerships,” Edwards told reporters.
“Out there batting with them, it was just about giving ourselves a chance to go harder later in the innings.”
Roelof van der Merwe (29) and Aryan Dutt (23 not out) walked in at No 10 and 11, smashing three boundaries and four sixes between them.
“Luckily enough, Roelof and Aryan in there played some unbelievable cameos to get us to what we thought was probably round about a par score,” Edwards added.
Secret is out
The Dutch players were also seen looking at sheets of information during the match, which they had tucked up their sleeves.
“We obviously do our analysis work before games. I suppose the secret’s out,” Edwards said.
“We just have a couple of points there, just to remind us when we’re on the field and different guys come in.”
Fitness does the trick
Edwards also praised the team’s fitness due to the strength and conditioning work put in as the Dutch, the only non-Test playing nation in the tournament, look to advance to the knockout stage.
“It’s a brand of cricket that we want to play. And to be able to play that, guys have got to be fit enough,” he said.
“Most teams around the world are, but that’s definitely one of the focus points we have.”