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England To Kick Off Campaign


England meets the Netherlands in what is the beginning of its campaign to fill the trophy cabinet with one more remnant of a successful two years.

The last time these two teams met was in 2009 when Ryan ten Doeschate and Tom de Grooth inflicted a sensational humiliation on an out-of-sorts England team.

Since that defeat England have gone on to win and retain the Ashes, triumphed at the 2010 World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, and until last month’s drilling courtesy of a 6-1 lesson in ODI’s by Australia, had not lost a series in any format of the game since September 2009.

England will be looking to use their status as world-beaters in this tournament, and judging by the current minnows` pitiful display in the tournament thus far, the Netherlands will have it all to do.

England are not among the outright favourites for the World Cup, but neither should they be the has beens who have ambled in and disappointed all editions of the tournament since 1996.

The venue is Nagpur, India's so-called city of Oranges- something that the Dutch will be hoping is an omen.

While England might have slipped against the men in orange two years ago, they will not be doing so here tonight. There has been cloud cover and drizzle in the air of late, with more of the same expected today.

The memory of that 2009 upset is still fresh within Dutch minds and was underlined earlier in the week when Dutch coach Peter Drinnen said: "Certainly half the squad were there on that evening and they are fully aware of what is possible on any given day. I know it was a shorter version but they are going to take quite a bit of confidence out of that victory into this."

England (probable) 1 Kevin Pietersen, 2 Andrew Strauss (capt), 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Ian Bell, 5 Paul Collingwood, 6 Matt Prior (wk), 7 Ravi Bopara, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson.

Netherlands (possible) 1 Alexei Kervezee, 2 Wesley Barresi (wk), 3 Eric Szwarczynski, 4 Tom Cooper, 5 Ryan ten Doeschate, 6 Peter Borren (capt), 7 Bas Zuiderent, 8 Tom de Grooth, 9 Mudassar Bukhari, 10 Adeel Raja, 11 Bradley Kruger.

Keep an eye out for Kevin Pietersen here today as he looks to take advantage of his promotion to the top of the order. It's not a role he has attempted too often in the past, however against a somewhat mediocre bowling attack; he will be looking to clear the ropes here tonight.

After the heroics by Sehwag in his opening game 175, KP will be looking to emulate and score big.

For the Netherlands there is only one man worth taking a punt on.

South African-born Ryan ten Doeschate knows the English bowling line up well from years on the county circuit and has the talent to thrive here. A big-hitting and technically correct batsman, he has honed his skills as a stalwart at Essex, and is the one Dutch player who would press for a place in the England middle-order.

England should amble through this one at a canter and use this as an opportunity to test its new looking line-up in search of glory.



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