Very impressed with the way Netherlands have played: Dravid

The Netherlands won two matches in a World Cup for the first time. File photo: Reuters/Andrew Boyer

The Netherlands have been very impressive at the World Cup and their performances will give associate members hope of competing more regularly on the big stage, Indian coach Rahul Dravid said on Saturday ahead of his side's final group game.

The Netherlands - the only non-Test-playing nation in the tournament - sprang an upset on semifinalists South Africa and also beat Bangladesh to register two wins at a World Cup for the first time.

The Dutch team had come through a gruelling qualifying campaign, beating the likes of the West Indies and Scotland to seal the final spot in the 10-team tournament in India, where they are bottom of the table but could still finish higher up the standings.

"We're very impressed with the way they've played in this tournament. The effort that they've gone through to be able to qualify... I certainly know how difficult it is for associate teams to reach this level and play," Dravid told reporters.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has 12 full members that play official Test matches, and 94 associate members.

"It's quite inspiring to see that in spite of the challenges that they do face, that they're able to compete at this level."

India are unbeaten at the top of the standings with a place in the semifinals secured but Dravid hinted that the regulars in the playing 11 would not be rested ahead of the semifinal on Wednesday.

Dravid said he was focusing on getting his players in the best mental and physical shape for the semifinal, "and hopefully the final if we earn it."

"We've had six days off from the last game so we're pretty well rested and the guys are in good shape. That's all I'll say," he said.

"To be honest with you, you're at the pointy end in a tournament now."

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