Australia in the mood to dominate Netherlands

austeamAustralia are in no mood to show any mercy to the Netherlands when they meet here in St Kitts on Sunday (today).

The World Cup holders are already planning for a far tougher assignment in their final group game against South Africa next weekend. South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs hit six sixes in an over against the Dutch, who are braced for further punishment.

“It’s a fairly rare type feat to happen but the boundaries are very small,” said Australia skipper Ricky Ponting. “I mis-hit a few the other day (against Scotland) and they landed on top of the grandstand. If we bat first (against South Africa) then we are going to have to make a really good score to be competitive,” he added.

Ponting said Gibbs’s achievement required “a fair bit of skill”, but added: “The way some of the guys are hitting the ball, it doesn’t surprise me at all.” The Dutch can take some comfort in that they will not have to contend with Andrew Symonds, one of the most brutal one-day hitters in the world, as he is still not ready for action following surgery on his shoulder.

But with the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Ponting in the Australia batting line-up, damage limitation is again likely to be the main challenge for their bowlers. Seam bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clark are waiting for their first taste of World Cup action for Australia, who could opt to rest veteran Glenn McGrath.

But Shaun Tait and Nathan Bracken are likely to continue as their preferred new ball combination, with Tait’s express pace likely to pose major problems for the Dutch top order. “I think we’re pretty close to knowing what our best bowling attack is,” said Ponting.

The two teams met in a rain-affected match during the 2003 World Cup when Australia won by 75 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method after bowling out the Netherlands for 130. A more emphatic result is on the cards this time and Dutch skipper Luuk van Troost has expressed only limited ambitions.

“We were doing well until the 10th over of the South African match, but from there we lost our way. I would be happy if we could repeat our first 10-over performance and bat better,” he commented.

Squads: Australia (from): R Ponting (captain), A Gilchrist, N Bracken, M Clarke, B Haddin,

M Hayden, B Hodge, B Hogg, M Hussey, M Johnson, G McGrath, S Tait, S Watson, S Clark.

Netherlands (from): L van Troost (captain), P Borren, D van Bunge, R ten Doeschate,

M Jonkman, M Kashif, A Kervezee, T de Leede, A Raja, D Reekers, E Schiferli, J Smits, B Stelling, E Szwarczynski, B Zuiderent.

Umpires: Steve Bucknor (WI) and Tony Hill (NZ).
Source:The News

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