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By Shrikant Shankar
Mar 30, 2014
England take on the Netherlands in an inconsequential match in the ICC World T20 2014 at Chittagong on March 31. Both the European rivals are out of contention for a spot in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup. Pride will be the main motivation for both teams in the Group 1 Super 10s clash. England will be favourites to win the match, but the Netherlands will be looking to end their tournament on a high.
Despite being involved in an enthralling run-chase with Sri Lanka and coming out on top on March 27, England fell short by an agonising margin of three runs against South Africa two days later. They chased down a 190-run target against tournament favourites Sri Lanka. Against South Africa the target was 197 runs and they came close to keeping their hopes of a spot in the semi-finals, only to fail at the end. This shows that their batting is good and can chase down big totals against very good bowling attacks.
They are lacking in their bowling though. One cannot expect to keep chasing such humongous totals every match. Jade Dernbach conceded 42 runs against Sri Lanka and 44 against South Africa. Tim Bresnan also gave away 48 runs against the Lankans and then 28 runs versus the Proteas. Even captain Stuart Broad has not been able to stem the flow of runs. The match against the men in orange should be a good opportunity for England to try out different combinations keeping an eye on their future in this format.
Alex Hales was the star against Sri Lanka with a brilliant 116 not out off 64 deliveries. Opening partner Michael Lumb showed glimpses of what he can do in the match against South Africa. The duo should open against the Netherlands. Moeen Ali will be given another chance to prove he has the wherewithal to score the runs in international cricket. He also opens the bowling with off-spin. Batsmen will not like to lose wickets in the first over, so, the ploy of using him can work.
Eoin Morgan has been brilliant for some time now and he exemplified that fact with a quick 57 off 38 deliveries against Sri Lanka. His combination of sweeps, reverse-sweeps and flicks should come to good effect against the Netherlands. Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler is an absolute talent as a batsman. His glove work, though, can improve man-a-fold. Ravi Bopara is a good utility player and probably the best bet to come in at No 6 and tonk the runs. It was his 18-ball 31 cameo that gave England hope of winning against South Africa.
Chris Jordan can also hit the big shots, as show against the Proteas. He can also bowl some good overs in the middle with his right-arm medium-fast bowling. Broad then comes in at No 9. This clearly shows the strength in batting that England possess. James Tredwell has done well without impressing in the last few games. His main competition is left-arm spinner Stephen Parry. This might be the right match to test out Lancashire tweaker. Dernbach’s poor form posses the biggest questions for England. The only option for them is Chris Woakes. He is a fast-medium bowling all-rounder.
The Netherlands broke all sorts of records in their run-chase against Ireland to qualify for the Super 10s. Their soaring confidence was brought down to the ground by Sri Lanka. But the Netherlands have impressed in their next two matches. They were the better team against South Africa for most periods and had only a Brendon McCullum master class denied them victory against New Zealand. It is clear that they lack that quality needed at the highest level to turn opportunities into victories. They have not changed their team for any matches so far.
Their main players are the likes of Tom Cooper, Ben Cooper, Stephan Myburgh, Wesley Barresi, Ahsan Malik and captain Peter Borren. Michael Swart, Logan van Beek, Mudassar Bukhari, Pieter Seelaar and Timm van der Gugten have also shown glimpses of their quality. The pitches favour slow bowling and dew might be a factor for the team fielding second as this is the first match of the day. England do have the better team than the Netherlands, but when pride is at stake, anything can be expected.
England: Stuart Broad (c), Michael Lumb, Alex Hales, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler (wk), Luke Wright, James Tredwell, Stephen Parry, Chris Jordan, Jade Dernbach, Tim Bresnan, Chris Woakes, Ian Bell.
Netherlands: Peter Borren (c), Wesley Barresi (wk), Ben Cooper, Tom Cooper, Mudassar Bukhari, Tom Heggelman, Ahsan Malik, Vivian Kingma, Stephan Myburgh, Michael Rippon, Pieter Seelaar, Michael Swart, Eric Szwarczynski, Logan van Beek, Timm van der Gugten.
Time: 15:00 IST | 09:30 GMT
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)
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