Fifty-over cricket…remember what that is? Ah yes, that’s right, it’s all about Jonny Bairstow getting into Beast Mode and breaking into the short square boundary at six past six, to chase a run-a-ball target without breaking a sweat. Or is that what Test cricket has become in recent days? I can’t keep up anymore.
And so, with apologies for what promises to be a historic event in Amstelveen on Friday, this week’s resumption of the English World Cup Super League campaign has been accompanied by an ubiquitous sense of decay in the “traditional” form of white-ball cricket. game (over 50 years of ODIs it qualifies for that title, right?). The Super League itself is already on borrowed time (not that the Netherlands’ challenge has caught fire in this cycle yet), and the format’s waning relevance is perhaps best epitomized by the prospect of Lancashire’s left-armer Luke Wood gearing up for a 50 – more than an international debut without bowling in a 50-over match for three years.
And yet, here we are. Back on the rather battered cart, sandwiched between two Test matches, with new coach Matthew Mott overseeing the earliest excitement of England’s World Cup defense, alongside an old captain, Eoin Morgan, who isn’t so much raging at the extinction of the light such as declaring “not really…” and changing the subject when the thorny issue of its shelf life comes up for discussion. There will be a changing of the guard sometime in the next 12 months. But whether it comes before or after England’s title defense in India remains an issue only the skipper himself seems to be able to confirm.
And yet all this circumstantial fear is no doubt doing the contest in store a disservice. For 18 months, England were guilty of endless planning ahead in their test squad, until the arrival of Brendon McCullum signaled a new intention to seize the day with the enthusiasm of the reborn, and perhaps the same is true of this week’s events. After all, England and the Netherlands have never met in an ODI outside of a World Cup before – and by the end of this journey they will have doubled their official meetings from three to six over the years (although those with a long memory no doubt you will also remember some of the unofficial encounters, including this momentous setback in an already bleak English summer in 1989).
As Ryan ten Doeschate, Holland’s greatest player, told ESPNcricinfo, he was also guilty of planning too much ahead in his own fine career and unable to fully enjoy the journey due to spending too much time mulling over the destination. Rest assured that if any of this week’s three matches ends like this or this one, a home crowd in Amstelveen will be only too happy to recreate the joyous scenes England’s own victors felt at Trent Bridge earlier this week. .
Frankly, the chances of that happening are slim. Not only does the 50-over-size expand the possibilities when it comes to underprivileged teams taking on an enduring challenge, the events of the past week have undoubtedly sent a jolt of electricity through England’s wider line-up.
Moeen Ali has already indicated he is ready to come out of Test retirement after seeing how much fun his brethren had on Trent Bridge, while Jos Buttler – who went from white as a test sheet to pretty in Rajasthan pink in less time than the Barmy army usually needs to be burned – is another man who may find the recall of weapons irresistible. There’s no time like the present to plant that front foot and impress again.
In any case, the structure of the Super League means that the Netherlands will enter this match with matches in their pocket: this year they already played away series against Afghanistan and New Zealand, while earlier this month they let the West Indies run close to two of their three games. same location – especially in the third game, where with 239 for 3 chasing 309, the chase really got going. A 20-run loss followed, but with half a century to Vikramjit Singh and Max O’Dowd and powerful contributions throughout the top order, there’s reason to believe they can still fight if not put an end to this week. to a series of nine defeats in a row.
The Netherlands: LLLLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
The performances of two 19-year-olds in Vikramjit Singh, the reckless left-handed opener, and Aryan Dutt, whose offspin was responsible for Nicholas Pooran in each of his three innings at Amstelveen, highlighted the talent flowing through the Dutch system. But Bas de Leede, the all-rounder who is the last member of his family to represent the Netherlands, is the eternal comeman of the team: he has been around for so long that you almost forget that he is only 22. at full international level, but a T20 innings of 79 out of 30 balls against a Northants XI last month suggests he should enjoy the flat pitches expected in this series.
Morgan is an obvious topic of conversation as he tries to prove both his fitness and his form in the same breath. But Jason Roy comes in this series with another set of question marks hanging over his game. In February he withdrew from his IPL contract with Gujarat Titans for personal reasons, and in March he was fined £2,500 by the Cricket Discipline Commission for an undisclosed offense which may or may not be related to the “indefinite hiatus.” which he took out of the game in the early weeks of the season. He’s been back in action for Surrey recently in the Vitality Blast, and at Lord’s last week, he hit his stride for the first time this season with an unbridled innings of 81 off 45 balls. He will no doubt be eager to let his bat continue to do the talking.
The Netherlands (possibly): 1 Vikramjit Singh, 2 Max O’Dowd, 3 Tom Cooper, 4 Bas de Leede, 5 Scott Edwards (wk), 6 Teja Nidamanuru, 7 Pieter Seelaar (capt), 8 Logan van Beek, 9 Shane Snater, 10 Aryan Dutt, 11 Vivian Kingma.
Tom Cooper is quite a blast from the past in the Dutch setup. He will play his first ODI since 2013 and his first international of any variety since the 2016 T20 World Cup, playing for Brisbane Heat (without any major success) at the recent Big Bash. Shane Snater is also available as Essex fired him from Vitality Blast, but Fred Klaassen will likely have to wait until the third ODI given Kent’s run of games against Hampshire and Middlesex this week.
England (possibly): 1 Jason Roy, 2 Phil Salt, 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Jos Buttler (wk), 5 Eoin Morgan (capt), 6 Liam Livingstone, 7 Sam Curran, 8 Moeen Ali, 9 Brydon Carse, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Reece Topley
Sam Curran will likely play primarily as a batter as he is recovering from a stress fracture of the back. His bowling returns were impressive in this season’s Blast for Surrey, but Morgan hinted that his levels would be built through the series. Phil Salt is expected to have the chance to put Roy at the top of the order, and Dawid Malan is expected to hit No. 3 as a possible under-study to Joe Root. Brydon Carse, who made his debut in England’s emergency squad against Pakistan last year, may get his first time alongside Reece Topley in the bowling attack, as the only fast right arm in a left arm dominant squad.
Amstelveen promises short straight boundaries and slightly longer hits square, which lends itself especially to Roy’s style of linear clubbing. Morgan described the field and outfield as “rock hard”, indicating runs, and lots of them. The weather is getting hot.
Morgan, Adil Rashid and Pieter Seelaar are the three survivors of the Netherlands’ famous victory over Lord’s in 2009, Rob Key (who batted number 6 for England in that match) is also on hand as England general manager.
A strong contingent of English fans is expected to make the trip to the VRA, with good ticket sales despite a cheapest price of €60.
This series was originally scheduled for May 2021, but was postponed due to KNCB concerns about hosting a series without crowds due to Covid.
“It may be a scar for England, but for us they are just joyful memories. We play a different format here and England had a different mentality in white ball cricket at the time than they are now. A third win would be fantastic. “
Pieter Seelaar has fond memories of upsetting England at the 2009 and 2014 T20 World Cups
“We sat back in our hotel and looked at it on the phone, ball-by-ball, looking at guys we’ve played with over the years, taking pictures and applying a method we’ve used in the toughest conditions. Test match cricket is incredibly difficult, so to overcome those challenges and play the way they did is a huge asset to the locker rooms for creating an environment where people feel comfortable enough to do that.”
Eoin Morgan admits his squad was motivated by the way their red ball counterparts played against New Zealand