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Aryan Dutt wants ‘best gift’ of the World Cup, Virat Kohli’s wicket | Cricket


Aryan Dutt wants ‘best gift’ of the World Cup, Virat Kohli’s wicket | Cricket

For the Netherlands team, every victory in the World Cup is a means to promote cricket in their football-mad country. They have been giving their best since they qualified by defeating West Indies via Super Over in the qualifying tournament in June.

India's Virat Kohli reacts as he walk back to pavilion (PTI)
India’s Virat Kohli reacts as he walk back to pavilion (PTI)

The World Cup journey has been remarkable with wins over formidable South Africa and Bangladesh. With three games left, their eyes are on a semi-final spot.

Off-spinner Aryan Dutt is one of the standout performers. He has often opened the bowling and is eager to face more challenges. His dream is to claim the prize scalp of Virat Kohli when the teams meet in Bengaluru on November 12.

“All wickets are important for me, but I would love to dismiss Kohli. I consider that wicket as the best gift in this World Cup,” Dutt said on the sidelines of an event on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old has played all six games in the World Cup, taking eight wickets. He is relishing bowling on Indian pitches and has drawn comparisons with New Zealand spinner Deepak Patel, who also opened the bowling in the 1992 World Cup. Dutt said, “I don’t compare myself to Deepak Patel, but I am enjoying bowling on Indian pitches. They can be different, providing a unique feel and aiding spinners who rely on variations.”

“I believe in my strengths and don’t worry much about the batters facing me. My focus is on consistently hitting the right lengths and using my speed and turn to outfox the batsmen.”

Netherlands will face an upbeat Afghanistan in their sixth match in Lucknow on Friday. Dutt said: “We have plans in place for them. They are a challenging side and we are all committed to our journey towards the semi-finals.”

Dutt’s best figures of 3/44 came against Sri Lanka in Lucknow. He said the upset win over South Africa was significant news in his country where only around 5,000 people play cricket.

Dutt has 28 wickets in 31 ODIs since his international debut in 2021. Dutt was born and raised in the Netherlands, after his parents migrated from Hoshiarpur, Punjab 35 years ago.

“Now, everyone expects us to secure more victories and reach the World Cup semi-finals,” said Dutt. It was MS Dhoni who inspired Dutt to take up the game. He was eight years old when Dhoni lifted the World Cup in 2011. “It inspired me to take up the sport, and I never imagined I’d play in a World Cup. Dhoni has been a guiding force, and I’ve always admired Team India and its players.”

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