2. Can the Dutch perform despite a lack of match practice?
The Netherlands came out on top at the 2019 Qualifier, winning eight out of 9 games. Boasting an enviable crop of fast bowlers and allrounders, the Dutch remain a formidable squad, on paper one of the strongest among the first round teams.
However, Ryan Campbell’s men have been strongly affected since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the end of the T20 World Cup Qualifier, the Dutch have played only 5 ODIs and 5 T20Is. In all these games, the Dutch were without key members of their first-choice squad due to clashes with county cricket.
It means the side that won the qualifier two years ago have not played together since. Whilst plenty within the squad have played in county and franchise cricket since, playing together will take some adjusting to. The Dutch have only two official and one unofficial warm-up games in the lead up to the tournament. These games serve as a critical time to hone their on-field tactics and partnerships. It could be that the squad may be dusting the proverbial cobwebs from their orange jerseys come their opening game.
With Group A appearing to be highly competitive on paper, the Netherlands cannot afford a slow start if they wish to make it to the Super 12s. Can they get into their stride in only three matches?