Bengaluru, Nov 11 (PTI) Netherlands will have a steep mountain to climb when they face in-form India here on Sunday, but for all-rounder Logan van Beek the World Cup match offers a chance to change the career path of Dutch players.
Van Beek has taken 12 wickets from seven matches, two behind leader and fellow pacer Bas de Leede.
“We are about to have one of the most amazing cricketing experiences – playing in front of a full house at the Chinnaswamy Stadium against the best team in the world right now.
"Yes, it is a little bit of nerve-wracking but also exciting. You know, it is a chance for us…one, if the boys are able to beat them then it is a massive upset and two, some of the guys can have amazing individual performances and change the trajectory of their careers," Van Beek told PTI.
While admiring the performance of Indian pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, who have together taken 41 wickets in the event, Van Beek was aware of the challenge of tackling them.
“Bumrah, Shami and Siraj, they have been awesome to watch and it is going to be pretty tough facing them on Sunday. They are very unique in their bowling styles but it is their consistency and the relentlessness that I admire a lot.
"That’s what I am trying to learn watching them, bowling with their energy and skills consistently," he noted.
The 33-year-old Dutch is soaking in the whole Indian experience and is quite amazed at the consistency shown by Rohit Sharma’s band, which he said was an eye-opener for the Netherlands.
"What I have learned and the whole group as well is that the best team in the world does basic things over and over again – consistently. We have had some glimpses of world-class batting and bowled some world-class balls.
"But the difference between us and the top teams like India is that they do it more consistently. We need to learn that and upskill in that area to compete consistently against them,” said Van Beek.
Currently, the Netherlands are lying at the 10th place on the table, but Van Beek said the two wins that they managed to score in the tournament has increased their self-conviction.
"It is definitely a step in the right direction. I think zero wins would have been disappointing. One win would have been good and two wins stress that we deserve to be here at the World Cup.
"You know, three or four wins and being in contention for the semis would have been remarkable. But yes, we are very proud of this whole year – from the qualifiers to be here at the World Cup,” he said.
Van Beek said their victory over South Africa will linger in memory for a long time.
The Dutch outfit had successfully defended a middling total of 245 for eight to register an astounding 38-run win over the Proteas at Dharamsala.
“That win over South Africa will live in memory for a very long time for all of us and then that win over Bangladesh was a solid team performance. It shows that we are on the right road,” he said.
From basketball to cricket =================== Van Beek has cricket in his blood as his grandfather Sam Guillen represented both West Indies and New Zealand – one of the early cricketers to play for two international teams.
However, Van Beek’s early calling was basketball because of his mother's love for that sport before turning to cricket.
“I was born in Christchurch to a West Indian mother and Dutch father. Cricket and basketball were two sports that I was drawn to. Cricket was very much a family affair as my grandfather had played for both Windies and NZ.
"So, I was always destined to play cricket. But my mother loved basketball. I was lucky to represent NZ in U-19 basketball worlds and later in the U-19 cricket World Cup in the same year,” he said.
However, a chance to play club cricket in Netherlands helped him make a definitive decision about the sport he wanted to pursue.
"I got an opportunity to play club cricket in the Netherlands after finishing my studies. Once I was there, I met a number of coaches and players and let them know that I have a Dutch passport and I was keen to play and the rest is history.
Van Beek hoped that one day he could actually represent the Black Caps in a tribute to the legacy of his grandad.
Guillen was part of the New Zealand team that beat West Indies at Auckland in 1956 for the Kiwis’ first ever Test victory.
"I still play a lot of cricket in New Zealand and hopefully, I will get a chance to play in the Queens Park Oval in Trinidad to complete the circle,” he said.
Guillen ushered in that win while stumping Alf Valentine off Harry Cave.
“My grandfather was full of life and full of stories and he loved competition. He wanted to win everything – cards or throwing a piece of paper into the dust bin etc.
“I still got the opportunity to play for New Zealand and if I can do that it will be quite cool to emulate his legacy as well. He is a huge role model for me,” he concluded. PTI UNG KHS KHS