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T20 World Cup 2022: How are the associate nations shaping up?

Last updated on 12 Oct 2022 | 08:54 AM
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T20 World Cup 2022: How are the associate nations shaping up?

A closer look at the combination Namibia, Scotland, UAE and the Netherlands have gone with and their chances of progressing to the next round

*NOTE: All stats since the conclusion of T20 World Cup 2021, till September 24, 2022, unless stated otherwise.

Can Netherlands put up a better show?

There were high expectations from the Netherlands in the 2021 T20 World Cup, given that they made it to the mega event off the back of winning the Qualifiers in 2019. However, they ended up losing all three matches in the mega event quite comprehensively. They were at the receiving end of a double hat-trick by Curtis Campher, then they let Namibia chase a record total, and then were bundled out for an embarrassing 44 in just 10 overs against Sri Lanka to round off a truly awful campaign.

Since the last World Cup, a few things have changed in the Netherlands set-up. The most prominent one is that their most experienced player Pieter Seelaar has retired. Seelaar’s retirement has paved way for Scott Edwards to take over as captain, ushering a new era in Dutch cricket. 

Other than that, they do not have the experienced Ryan ten Doeschate at their disposal after the veteran cricketer retired after last year’s World Cup. But the return of Tom Cooper for the first time since the World T20 2016 has lent them a bit of experience in the middle-order alongside Van der Merwe.

However, Netherlands will be pleased with some of the newcomers in the side, including middle-order batter Teja Nidamanuru, left-arm finger-spinner Tim Pringle and stylish top-order batter Vikramjit Singh, who have further strengthened the squad. Not to forget, young leg-spinner Shariz Ahmad who impressed in the recent white-ball fixtures against Pakistan and New Zealand. 

However, making way for him is another young leg-spinner Philippe Boissevain, who was picked for the previous T20 World Cup, but with Shariz having more control compared to the 21-year-old, he gets the nod.

There has always been a tussle in this set-up: To play for the Netherlands or in the County? The latter has always taken precedence, but come the T20 World Cup, quality players like Fred Klaassen (Kent), Tim van der Gugten (Glamorgan), Colin Ackermann (Leicestershire) and Paul van Meekeren (Gloucestershire) among others are certain to make the Dutch a tough team to beat. 

This World Cup will also mark the end of Ryan Campbell’s tenure as the head coach. Campbell took over the reins in 2017 and Netherlands then won the World Cricket League (WCL) championship, that has enabled them to be part of the ODI Super League. He also guided them to the T20 World Cup Qualifier title in 2019.

Also Read - Bas de Leede: Scott Edwards has reduced the void left by Pieter Seelaar

The Dutch have not won any of their 16 ODIs since the conclusion of the T20 World Cup 2021, but have won four of their seven T20Is – all of which came in the Qualifiers – where they finished runners-up.

Players to watch out for

Bas de Leede: 289 runs at 72.75, SR 122.97 & 10 wickets at 10.70, Econ: 5.63

Logan van Beek: 13 wickets at 11.84, Econ: 6.89

Tom Cooper: 148 runs at 24.66, SR 148

Netherlands’ scoring rate in the previous T20 World Cup was just 6.3 (lowest) and lost wickets once every 13.1 runs, 12.5 deliveries apart, the lowest after PNG, who also lost all their games. 

Since then though, they seem to have put a price on their wicket, averaging 24.5 runs per wicket and a strike-rate of 19.5. But their scoring rate of 7.5 is the worst among T20 World Cup 2022 teams after Bangladesh (7.3), an area they need to work on.

Netherlands’ best XI: Max O’Dowd, Stephan Myburgh/Vikramjit Singh, Tom Cooper, Bas de Leede, Scott Edwards (c & wk), Teja Nidamanuru, Logan van Beek, Roelof van der Merwe, Fred Klaassen, Paul van Meekeren, Timm van der Gugten/Brandon Glover.

Namibia to exceed expectations again?

The Eagles surprisingly progressed to the Super 12s of the previous edition with wins over the Netherlands and Ireland. Since then, they have been doing well in white-ball cricket, with series wins over Uganda and their biggest scalp till date – beating Zimbabwe – a full-member nation – 3-2 – in a bilateral T20I series. 

Added to that, they have also made steady progress in the Cricket World Cup League 2, where they remain in contention to make it to the 2023 World Cup Qualifiers.

Namibia’s rise in international cricket has been a phenomenal one and the credit for their resurgence has to be given to their head coach Pierre de Bruyn and assistant coach Albie Morkel. Morkel, especially has been instrumental in convincing players like South Africa-born Ruben Trumpelmann to take a plunge and play for Namibia. 

Moreover, the inclusion of a senior pro in David Wiese too has been a masterstroke as he lends a lot of experience to this young side, who are further dented with the retirement of their former skipper Craig Williams.

What sets Namibia apart from the rest is their bowling attack that consists of as many as four left-arm pacers. Trumpelmann, Jan Frylnck, JJ Smit and also Tangeni Lungameni – to go with a left-arm finger spinner Bernard Scholtz. You add Wiese’s all-round prowess to the table along with part-time off-spinners from their skipper Gerhard Erasmus, Namibia have gotten themselves quite an attack.

Also Read - Craig Williams: Namibia blessed to have Gerhard Erasmus as captain

Nicol Loftie-Eaton gives an excellent leg-spin option along with his aggressive batting in the middle-order while Pikky Ya France gives the side a genuine off-spin option.

Players to watch out for

Gerhard Erasmus: 254 runs at 50.80, SR 133.68 & 6 wickets at 15, Econ 5.62

JJ Smit: 84 runs at 42, SR 182.60 & 8 wickets at 8.50, Econ 5.74

David Wiese: 48 runs at 16, SR 100 & 5 wickets at 23.80, Econ 7

Namibia might have made a mistake by not including JP Kotze, who made his T20I debut in 2019. The southpaw, who had retired from international cricket last year, returned to the fold earlier this year in the T20Is against Uganda. He scored 91 runs in the three matches at a strike-rate over 133 but was not picked for the next series against Zimbabwe. 

Given that he can also keep wickets, he should perhaps have been picked over Zane Green, who scored just 80 runs at the top of the order at an abysmal strike-rate of 76.19. Even since the mega event, Green, who has batted in the middle-order has scored just 57 runs in four innings striking at 114. It could be a move that goes on to hurt Namibia. The other option Namibia have Lo-Handre Louwrens, who played his only T20I in 2019, but has featured for the ODI side more recently.

Namibia’s best XI: Divan la Cock, Michael Van Lingen/Stephan Baard, Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Gerhard Erasmus (c), JJ Smit, David Wiese, Zane Green/ Lohan Louwrens (wk),  Jan Frylinck, Bernard Scholtz, Ruben Trumpelmann, Ben Shikongo.

A new era awaits CP Rizwan's UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced their squad with one of the senior-most figures missing from the squad. With 109 matches across formats, Mustafa is not just UAE’s most-capped player, he is also one of just two players to have scored over 2,000 international runs. Not to forget, he also has 117 white-ball wickets to his name, which is once again a record for UAE.

Mustafa did not make the XI in UAE’s Asia Cup Qualifier matches against Singapore and Hong Kong and with him not being part of the final T20 World Cup squad, it could very well be the end of his career.

UAE left everyone stunned when they made CP Rizwan the captain of the T20I side ahead of the Qualifiers. Rizwan at that point had played just seven T20Is scoring exactly 100 runs. Ahmed Raza, who take done a commendable job since taking over a few years ago, was allowed to continue as ODI captain and unlike Mustafa, he has made the T20 World Cup squad.

Also Read: T20 World Cup beckons and UAE are up for the challenge

“We extend our deep appreciation to all who have invested their time and efforts as we arrive at this unique moment in Emirates Cricket’s history." Dr. Tayeb Kamali, Selection Committee Chairman, Emirates Cricket, said.

Director of cricket Robin Singh said UAE’s emphasis was on rewarding the youth for their good performance and building a formidable team for the future playing alongside some of the senior players.

“It must be emphasized that UAE Cricket’s youth have continued to show their worth at various successful ICC and Asian Cricket (age-group) campaigns, and, it is their time to showcase these proven talents to the cricketing world alongside those (selected) experienced players,” he said.

Also Read: Away from politics in Pakistan, Zahoor Khan forges a successful career in UAE

20-year-old Vriitya Aravind’s elevation as the side’s vice-captain further underlines Robin Singh’s vision and the stylish batter has not disappointed. He led UAE’s charge in the World Cup Qualifiers, finishing as the leading run-getter in the tournament with 267 runs at a strike-rate of 154.33. He is certainly one of the players to watch out for in the tournament.

Players to watch out for

Vriitya Aravind 389 runs at 48.62, SR 145.14

Muhammad Waseem 470 runs at 42.72, SR 161.51

Karthik Meiyappan 10 wickets at 14.20, Econ 6.76

The likes of Aravind (20), Karthik Meiyappan (21), Aayan Khan (16), Aryan Lakra (20) to name a few are some of the young blood in the team, and have been thrown into the deep end right away. Will they sink or swim?

Having beaten Ireland in the final to win the Qualifiers, UAE by no stretch of imagination will be pushovers. They will be up against Netherlands, Sri Lanka and Namibia in Group A and do not be surprised if they make it to the next round.

UAE’s best XI: Muhammad Waseem, Chirag Suri, Vriitya Aravind (wk), CP Rizwan (c), Aryan Lakra, Basil Hameed, Ahmed Raza/Sultan Ahmed, Karthik Meiyappan, Sabir Ali Kashif Daud, Junaid Siddique.

Can Scotland cope without Coetzer?

Kyle Coetzer retired from T20Is and Scotland are not just short in terms of a quality batter, but the batter has also been a phenomenal leader over the years. Under Coetzer, Scotland maintained a 100% record in the first round of the T20 World Cup 2021, which included beating Bangladesh in their first game. However, they filed to carry their momentum in the Super 12 stage where they lost all their five matches. 

The baton has now been passed on to Richie Berrington, who will lead a relatively settled Scotland side, which also have a couple of new faces. One of them happens to be 22-year-old batting all-rounder Brandon McMullen, who is yet to play for Scotland at the senior level. Michael Jones could be the one to replace Coetzer at the top and open with the attacking southpaw George Munsey. 

Jones has played 12 ODIs for Scotland but made his T20I bow against New Zealand in Edinburgh recently, which happens to be his only appearance in the format.

Scotland will be relieved to have Josh Davey back in the squad after he missed a part of the tournament last year due to an injury. He has been bowling full-fledged for Somerset of late and will be itching to lead the bowling attack in Australia that will have the likes of Safyaan Sharif and Brad Wheal to team up with.

Mark Watt, the left-arm spinner who is known for his economical spells and his ability to dart in those Yorkers at the depth will have to play a key role with Hamza Tahir and Chris Greaves adding further depth to the spin department.

Scotland would certainly look to put their off-field disturbances, i.e, the investigation into racial discrimination within Cricket Scotland, behind them and hope that their performance on the field is talked about a lot more.

Players to watch out for (Since Jan 2021):

Richie Berrington 471 runs at 42.81, SR 126.95

Safyaan Sharif 12 wickets at 27.75, Econ 8.05

Mark Watt 12 wickets at 27.50, Econ 6.73

They will be up against West Indies, Ireland and Zimbabwe in Group B of the first round and it would be some effort if Scotland manage to progress to the next round from here.

Scotland have not had enough game time in T20Is since the end of the last World Cup, having played just a couple of games, but have played as many as 17 ODIs in this period and sit comfortably in the Cricket World Cup League 2 standings, where they are in pole position to make it to the 2023 World Cup Qualifiers. 

Scotland’s best XI: George Munsey, Michael Jones, Callum McLeod, Richie Berrington (c), Matthew Cross (wk), Chris Greaves, Michael Leask, Mark Watt, Brad Wheal, Safyaan Sharif, Josh Davey.

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