Sydney, Oct 26 (SocialNews.XYZ) On Tuesday, Netherlands opener Max O'Dowd had tweeted the picture of his diary which he captioned as "what dreams are made of". In his diary planner for Thursday, O'Dowd had written, "head to the ball", "Play straight", "Play late" and "18:00 - T20 vs India @ SCG".
Though Netherlands have faced India in ODI World Cups previously, with the last instance dating back to 2011 edition in New Delhi, this will be the first instance of the two teams meeting in a T20I, that too in the ongoing showpiece event at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.
"It's huge. You always dream of playing World Cups, and SCG is one of the most famous grounds in the world. And then add in you're playing against arguably one of the best teams in the world, yes, it's pretty surreal. The boys are looking forward to it," beamed Netherlands skipper Scott Edwards in the pre-match press conference.
For Netherlands, who rarely get to play against full member nations in T20Is, it's a chance to showcase their way of cricket to the world against a formidable Indian outfit, as Edwards explained. "For us it's about playing our brand of cricket and the way we go about it you're not trying to play how India would play or how Australia would play. We're trying to play our brand of cricket. We think if we play at a high enough level, then you give yourselves a chance in those kind of bigger games."
"When I say our brand of cricket, it's the way we as a team think we perform best. So if we perform to the ability we think we can perform that gives us our best chance to compete. These teams if they're on their day, they're extremely hard to beat. We'll have to try to bring our A game. If it's not enough, it's enough. If it's not, it's not."
What also helps Netherlands' cause is that there aren't much lofty expectations thrusted upon them on facing off against India. "I don't think there's many people out there expecting us to win. For us, as I said, we'll play our best brand of cricket and we'll do everything we can to win this game. But there's no pressure on us in that sense," added Edwards.
Edwards, originally a Melbourne-bred guy, hopes for senior players like Tom Cooper, with a connection to Australia and SCG via domestic cricket side New South Wales and experienced spin all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe, who didn't feature in their nine-run loss to Bangladesh due to injury, to shine against India.
"Tom, he's obviously great to have on the squad. He hasn't got the runs this tournament. But hopefully this is the game that he can get going. Both of them bring a wealth of experience in T20 cricket. That's huge for our guys, especially looking at, we've got three or four guys that are under 21 years old. They're massive to have around the group and great for the morale."
Indeed, Thursday promises to be a surreal date for the Men in Orange to relish the challenge of playing against the Indian team, just like how O'Dowd wrote in his diary on October 25.