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CricTracker Exclusive: Pieter Seelaar wants to dismiss India’s top three in T20 World Cup 2020

He also went on to speak at length about the Euro T20 Slam which is expected to take place next year.

Netherlands
Pieter Seelaar (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Netherlands skipper Pieter Seelaar first broke into the scene at the international level way back in 2006 in an ODI against Sri Lanka as a young left-arm spinner. He has never looked back since then. Seelaar has been part of the ups and downs of the Netherlands cricket and 12 years down the line, he is leading the team and also won the T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 recently.

The Dutch, led by Pieter Seelaar, will represent the country in Australia next year in the T20 World Cup and will be hoping to make an impact on world cricket yet again. He was one of the top and consistent performers for his team in qualifying tournament picking seven wickets in nine matches at an exceptional economy rate of 5.5 and the strike-rate of 18.8.

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Seelaar first made his mark in the World Cup 2011 dismissing the likes of Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Kevin Pietersen. He was also the highest wicket-taker for the Netherlands in the tournament. He has also improved his batting a lot and is one of the senior players in the current side and is happy to lead a bunch of talented youngsters.

After winning the trophy for the Netherlands, Pieter Seelaar is enjoying a small break from the game and is looking forward to playing the Euro T20 Slam next year where he is the part of Rotterdam Rhinos. He will play alongside some of the top international cricketers as well. In an exclusive interview to CricTracker, Seelaar spoke at length about how Euro T20 Slam will be beneficial for the Dutch cricketers and the batsmen he would like to get out in the World Cup next year.

Here are the excerpts:

How did playing the tri-series against Ireland and Scotland before the T20 World Cup Qualifier help you as the Netherlands defeated both the teams in the tournament?

Netherlands Cricket team
Netherlands Cricket team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

I think the tri-series helped us for the preparation of the qualification tournament. We play Ireland and Scotland quite a bit so it wasn’t specifically this tournament (tri-series) that helped. I think overall playing them a lot helped us to prepare the game plan against them and it paid off in the conditions in Dubai which helped us beating both Scotland and Ireland.

Papua New Guinea had defeated the Netherlands in the group stage. What message did you pass on to the team as the captain ahead of the final as you easily defeated them to lift the trophy?

Netherlands
Netherlands. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Obviously PNG defeated us in the group stage. They played very well and we also had a pretty bad day at the office. The message I really wanted to get across is, if we play at our 100% and PNG play to their 100%, we are always going to be the better them. One of the things we just had a look at how they played the game, the way they ran between the wickets in the first game.

We weren’t quite used to it and they really put us under pressure in the field and I think it was one of the main differences. (We knew) if we field well we can put them under the pressure and that’s what happened in the final and that’s how we managed to restrict them to such a low total.

Though Euro T20 Slam had to be postponed, it is slated to take place next year. Your views on how it will help the young cricketers who will take part in the tournament?

Yeah, I was obviously disappointed that Euro T20 Slam had to be postponed this year. I think what it will bring for the youngsters coming through is getting to experience to play with the international cricketers besides the ones from their own respective countries.

Also having a three-week tournament of high-quality cricket will allow them to sort of see how people go about their business and what it takes to perform at such a level. So it’s only for them not only to learn but also to test their skills against the best in the world.

Pieter-Seelaar-international-record

How crucial is it for the cricket in the Netherlands for the Euro T20 Slam to actually happen?

Yeah! It’s very crucial for the Euro T20 Slam to happen in Holland. It’s a good tournament to have to raise the profile of cricket in the whole of the Netherlands where if people can see Cricket is being a serious sport in Holland then that will raise the profile. In sort of that regards, we can also warm-up to the Pakistan series that will happen in July which will have us play a good amount of quality cricket.

Being the left-arm spinner, which bowler you looked up to while growing up?

As a left-arm spinner for me, there was the only person to look up to and it was Daniel Vettori.

In Euro T20 Slam, a lot of renowned international players will be playing. Among them, which batsman’s wicket you would love to pick?

Of all the international batsmen that are going to come to Euro T20 Slam, one of my favourites would be Babar Azam. Probably one of the better batsmen in T20 and ODI cricket at the moment. He just oozes class. It would be great to pick his brain or just see how he goes about his business.

You have been playing for your country since 2006. What has changed in Netherlands cricket over the years?

Pieter Seelaar (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

The main difference for us after playing for so long is obviously the professionalism that has come to Dutch Cricket. I think when I started, we trained about once or twice a week and we played about 20 days of cricket throughout the summer.

Now we train 4-5 times a week with estimated days of 120 days of cricket throughout the year. That makes a whole lot of difference. In order to play better cricket, you also need to play more cricket and I think that’s what we are doing and it’s helping our consistency levels and is the reason why we are doing well.

Is this one of the best teams you’ve had because you have some exceptional players in the batting and bowling line-up as witnessed in the Qualifier tournament?

The team at the qualifiers was fantastic and definitely, one of the best teams I’ve ever been involved in. If you look at throughout the line-up, there are star players all over and the bowling was quality, especially the fast bowlers. I thought as a unit they were fantastic and yeah, it is definitely one of the better teams I’ve ever been involved in.

You picked Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar’s in 2011 World Cup. Which Indian batsman’s wicket will you like to take if you face India in the T20 World Cup next year?

Of the current Indian line-up, I would definitely like to get their top three out. I would like to get Rohit Sharma out; Shikhar Dhawan would definitely be the one I will be very happy with. And obviously Virat Kohli who I think is the best batsman in the world at the moment. I would love to have these wickets.

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