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South Africa Seek To Eliminate Dutch


South Africa takes on the Netherlands in the ICC World Cup following a week long break since their thrashing of a sub-par West Indies.

Thursday's match will be the first of the tournament at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali, with the Proteas heavy favourites to dispose of a Dutch side on the decline.

The Peter Borren led team has had a tumultuous time until now. They came very close to upsetting England in their opener, but put in a poor showing against the West Indies.

Meanwhile, Netherlands’ South African-born batsman Ryan ten Doeschate will be looking forward to facing his former compatriots.

Speaking before the West Indies match, Ten Doeschate had said playing the Proteas would be "a great opportunity" for his adopted nation, which he was looking forward to "having a go" at South Africa.

As far as past record is concerned, Netherlands do not have much to look forward to. Both teams have played against each other twice, with both ending in comprehensive victories for the Proteas. 

South Africa has had a week off to prepare, and will welcome key bowlers Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir, as well as JP Duminy back to full fitness.

For South Africa, a straightforward start to the World Cup, followed by a weeklong break between its first two matches has proved handy after all three were laid low with injury and sickness.

"There's a nice competition going on because with everyone being fit for selection we're all competing for positions," Steyn said.

"When everyone is fit and there's so much time, everyone has a point to prove in practice sessions. It makes the coach and selection panel's job a bit difficult, but that's good."

With Mohali traditionally offering more bounce than most Indian tracks, and early morning conditions also favouring the pace bowlers, South Africa will be tempted to gift Lonwabo Tsotsobe an advance birthday gift in the form of a place in the starting XI.

To add to that, South African seamers Steyn, Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis are lining up to take advantage.

A newfound versatility in its bowling attack means South Africa can finally swap between spin and pace, depending on the conditions.

Fitness woes notwithstanding, South Africa still have enough firepower to put the Netherlands to the sword, who are clearly struggling to match the standard they set against England.

The Netherlands were desperately disappointed in the way their batting collapsed against the Windies after running England so close in the opener, with skipper Peter Borren knowing they must shape up to face the Proteas attack.

The Dutch fortune clearly depends on their batsmen, Ryan ten Doeschate and Tom Cooper to be precise, who will have to be at their best to give their erratic bowlers a decent total to defend.

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