Well, it was a fun week on the continent. Records smashed, press box windows broken and historical precedents shattered too, with the ECB finally deigning to take on their closest cricket neighbors (at least as the crow flies from their respective HQs) in a full bilateral series.
The final rites will begin on Wednesday at 10 a.m., and judging by the events of the first two games, a damage control theme could very well dictate the hosts’ game plan. Twice they have given a decent picture of themselves despite evidence to the contrary – first by extending their answer to England’s world record 498 for 4 to the last left of the match, then, on Sunday, by beating their opponents. forced to keep cool in a medium chase, took a break from their stride after a 3 for 9 collapse in 3.1 overs.
But there’s no real sense that there could be anything at stake that resembles a disruption in a match that still nets World Cup Super League points and therefore isn’t dead rubber in the traditional sense of the word. England’s current white-ball line-up is so strong there’s no room for a incumbent to get through the game – let alone England captain Eoin Morgan, whose trials and tribulations have been particularly scrutinized this week .
Certainly, the Dutch turned out to have learned a hasty lesson in choosing to bowl first after winning their second toss of the series on Sunday. The retirement of Pieter Seelaar in the middle of the series meant the captaincy passed to Scott Edwards, but his predecessor would certainly have made the same decision after seeing how effectively England sifted through his attack in their opening game. Seelaar had undoubtedly thrown first in hopes of limiting the Netherlands’ pursuit to the kind of 300-run region that had kept them in the chase against the West Indies earlier in the month. Thirty-six thirty-four and 26-six later, such plans were out the window.
Within the bigger picture, however, the story continues after this pleasant little stay. It’s not unique for England’s whiteball and redball teams to play on consecutive days – that precedent was set in the Covid bubble summer of 2020, when two equally different squads lined up for an ODI against Ireland and a test against Pakistan within hours. from each other. But with the return of international cricket to Headingley and the attendant excitement of England’s Baz-ball era, there may be something close to Friday’s fireworks display to keep this final from being seen and out of mind. disappears.
(Last five completed matches, most recent first)
The Netherlands: LLLLL
In the spotlight
Well, it’s hard to avoid the topic for long. Eoin Morgan has been the instigator of so much of the greatness of recent white-ball cricket in England, and its place in the sport’s folklore is already guaranteed. But after a year of injuries, absences and insignificant scores – culminating in this week’s back-to-back ducks in Amstelveen – he needs some urgent runs to clear the swirling doubts. His team remains loyal to their agenda-setting leader, and there’s little doubt that his tactical acumen is still of value in the heat of battle. But another failure this week, coupled with his expressed desire to avoid back-to-back games against India and South Africa in the coming series, could increase the pressure for regime change. To add to the intrigue, he missed practice on the eve of the match, ostensibly to conserve his energy for the main event.
It was a series best judged by small wins for the Netherlands – Logan van Beek’s virgin at the death of England’s chase on Sunday is a prime example – but one man who has impressed more than some is Bas de Leede, the son of former Dutch all-rounder Tim, who has chipped twice with useful albeit unfulfilled innings in the middle order – 28 from 38 balls on Friday and 34 from 41 on Sunday – coupled with some energetic seam bowling that hasn’t given him a wicket yet but has given England more haste than others. At 22, he has a real chance to absorb the lessons of a tough week and come back stronger.
The Netherlands is given a boost by the return of two of their county-based seamen, Paul van Meekeren and Fred Klaassen, who have been sacked by Gloucestershire and Kent van Blast respectively. Van Meekeren has been out of action for three weeks due to injury but will return to the side, while Klaassen – the favorite of Kent’s bowlers in their defeat to Middlesex on Sunday – arrived in Amsterdam on Tuesday instead of making a frenzied attempt from Canterbury on the morning of the match (a decision that may be influenced by the all-encompassing travel chaos around Schiphol Airport and the UK train network, as well as Kent’s battle in the Blast) – so will likely take over from Vivian Kingma.
The Netherlands (possibly): 1 Vikramjit Singh, 2 Max O’Dowd, 3 Tom Cooper, 4 Bas de Leede, 5 Scott Edwards (capt/wk), 6 Teja Nidamanuru, 7 Logan van Beek, 8 Tim Pringle, 9 Shane Snater/Aryan Dutt, 10 Paul van Meekeren, 11 Fred Klaassen
Brydon Carse impressed on Sunday with his mid-overs hit-the-deck role and is worthy of keeping his place in the lineup, despite the pre-series intent to use these games to advance the bowling workloads of Sam Curran in the wake of his back stress fracture. Reece Topley, another fast from England whose condition requires careful monitoring, may be on hiatus after back-to-back games. Fellow left-armers Luke Wood and David Payne patiently await their international debut. Unless there is a major change in the England team’s balance sheet, there is no reason to expect any changes in the batting formation.
England (possibly): 1 Jason Roy, 2 Phil Salt, 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Jos Buttler (wk), 5 Eoin Morgan (capt), 6 Liam Livingstone, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 David Willey, 9 Brydon Carse/Sam Curran, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Reece Topley/Luke Wood
Location and conditions
After two matches on the same (record-breaking) stretch of grass, a new field, two strips across, has been prepared for the final match, one that appears drier and therefore can offer more for the spinners on both sides – even Adil Rashid has struggled so far had to impress with two wickets for 109 over 19 overs. After the humid conditions for Sunday’s game, the sun will return on Wednesday, with temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius.
Statistics and trivia
Eoin Morgan needs (still) 43 runs to reach 7,000 in ODIs for England (he is currently at 7701 in total, including 744 for Ireland).
Another win over the Netherlands would put England at the top of the Super League World Cup standings ahead of Bangladesh.
After taking over from Seelaar on Sunday, Edwards became the seventh Dutch captain in their ODI history.
Moeen Ali needs 81 runs to reach 2000 in ODIs.
“They have both been around for a long time and bring a lot of experience and knowledge. Whatever the team is going to look like, we are confident that hopefully we can put in a good performance for this final game.”
Dutch captain Scott Edwards hopes that the inclusion of Klaassen and van Meekeren can give England an extra challenge
“What has been forgotten is that Morgs [Eoin Morgan] is an incredible leader. He’s the leader of our team and everyone knows he’s only one goal away, so I’m sure that will happen very soon and he’ll be off the track again.”
Liam Livingstone has no doubts that a return to form for Eoin Morgan is only a matter of time