Beleaguered Netherlands face another stiff task when they face Australia in their second group game in St Kitts on Sunday.
St Kitts, the smallest base camp at the World Cup has not seen any upset so far in the tournament, and the figures are not likely to change on Sunday. The Australians won by 203 runs against Scotland, and are likely to dish out similar treatment to Luuk Van Troost’s side. Some players in the Aussie side might even consider having a shot at Herschelle Gibbs’ record established at this very ground. They can’t surpass the record, but they can equal it. Ponting, Gilchrist and Hayden are in good touch and the signs look pretty ominous for the men in Orange. Symonds has been recovering well, but he won’t be pushed into a game where the defending champions have all but been declared winners.McGrath, Tait and Bracken would love to have a crack at the fragile Dutch batting.
The Dutch did enter the history books when they played South Africa, but for all the wrong reasons. And they can expect little, if no mercy from Ponting’s boys.The Dutch got hammered by 221 runs, as Daan Van Bunge went for six sixes in an over. 175 runs were conceded in the last 11 overs, including 30 in the last over from Van Troost. There were 18 hits over the fence, and the only silver lining in an otherwise gloomy day was the 57 from Ten Doeschate. Luuk Van Troost is unclear whether he will bat or bowl if he wins the toss. Spinner Adeel Raja may see a recall to the side. Billy Stelling bowled well initially against the Proteas, and the Dutch will need to maintain that kind of consistency throughout the innings, if they are to have any hopes of winning.
I don’t see an upset here, and I see the Dutch getting whacked again. McGrath and Tait to impress with the ball, and among the batsmen, there are lots of candidates, but I’ll say No.1,2 and 3- Gilly, Hayden and skipper Ponting will pile up the runs.