Netherlands vs Ireland 2021
1st ODI – Wed, 2nd June
THE OPENING ATTACK:
Netherlands made a much-awaited return to international ODI cricket in May, after a hiatus of almost two years. Taking on Scotland in a two-match ODI series, the Dutchmen won the first game by 14 runs but fell short in the second by six wickets to concede the advantage.
With a young, inexperienced team led by veteran all-rounder Pieter Seelaar, Netherlands will have an eye on upsetting their much more fancied opponents in their first taste of action in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League.
Possible playing XI: Pieter Seelaar, Scott Edward, Max O’Dowd, Stephan Myburgh, Ben Cooper, Bas de Leede, Vivian Kingma, Brandon Glover, Tobias Visée, Musa Nadeem Ahmad, Saqib Zulfiqar.
On the other hand, Ireland have been active in international cricket recently and are slowly building a reputation as a side that cannot be taken lightly. Since gaining Test status in 2017, they have steadily risen up the ranks by fighting hard against the best teams in the world.
However, unfortunately for Andy Balbirnie’s side, they haven’t won any of their last four ODI series. West Indies beat them 3-0 at the turn of the decade, before the first leg of international cricket in the post-pandemic era saw England vanquish the Irish 2-1. Ireland drew a two-match series against the United Arab Emirates at the start of 2021 and were then whitewashed 3-0 by Afghanistan in the same month.
Possible playing XI: Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, William Porterfield, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Craig Young.
The venue, Pitch Report, and Toss Prediction:
The Netherlands will begin their ICC Cricket World Cup Super League battle this week against Ireland at Sportpark Maarschalkerweerd in Utrecht.
This is the first ODI game at this venue. However, two T20I matches between Germany and Italy were played back in May 2019. The wicket helped both batters and bowlers. Hence, we shall expect an equal contest between the ball and the bat. Thus, skippers will choose to field first and chase down a total on winning the toss.
Although form isn’t on their side, Ireland has a greater head-to-head track record against their European competitors. Seven of the ten games Netherlands and Ireland have played against each other in ODI cricket have resulted in favor of Ireland, with one ending with no result.
Ireland are the obvious favorites moving into this game, not only because of the superstars in their roster but also due to their higher action in international cricket. With the stakes running high for the 2023 World Cup qualification, we will be in for an exciting contest.