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Match Preview – India vs Namibia, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021/22, 42nd Match, Group 2

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So a dead rubber it is, for India. Both groups in the Super 12s came down to hitting the eight-points mark eventually and India’s losses in the first two games had made their early exit all but a foregone conclusion. The last day of the group stage will, therefore, be the last day as T20I captain for Virat Kohli, and the end of the road for some members of the coaching staff who will leave with a strong legacy, but one that will be without any major limited-overs trophies.

For Namibia, it is anything but a dead rubber. There are no dead rubbers for Associate teams, the chance to play against the top ranked sides so rare that there will always be something to gain at World Cups. Namibia have done stupendously to make it to the Super 12s with a national roster that barely hits 20 players, and they made the first round of next year’s World Cup while they were at it. It is a comment on the lopsided nature of contemporary cricket that they might well have to wait another year before they play so many Full Members at a stretch, so their view come Monday will hardly change – this is an opportunity to prepare for another big 12 months in their calendar. India abandoned their optional nets session on Sunday, but there can be none of that if you are an Associate team.

Form guide

India WWLLL ((last five completed matches; most recent first)

Namibia LLLWW

Players to watch

This is a major juncture in Indian cricket and the eyes will be, as ever, on Virat Kohli as he leads India for the last time in this format. Kohli has the odd reputation of both being India’s best batter in the format over the last decade, and someone who hasn’t necessarily moved India’s T20 game forward. None of that baggage will follow him onto the field on Monday and while he is still captain, India’s last match will be Day Zero of what will be a new era. With his Royal Challengers Bangalore duties out of the way as well, it will also be Day Zero of an era where Kohli will play this format as a pure batter for the first time in years.

David Wiese has played against and alongside some of these Indian players. The 36-year-old has been critical to Namibia’s path this year, and he will be critical on Monday as they take on one of the sternest tests in the World Cup. There can be no doubt that Wiese is a central figure to the team behind the scenes, but he will be keen to lead their challenge on the field on Monday. They’ve beaten one Test-playing nation this World Cup, and beating a second – WTC runners-up, no less – would be a heck of a way to sign-off; Wiese must deliver for that to happen.

Team news

India may look to test their bench with qualification out of reach. That could mean a rest for some of their all-format stars.

India: (possible) 1 KL Rahul, 2 Rohit Sharma/Ishan Kishan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Rishabh Pant (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Mohammed Shami/Shardul Thakur, 10 Jasprit Bumrah/Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Rahul Chahar/Varun Chakravathy

Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus has soldiered through the World Cup with a broken finger, and although it looks unlikely, this might finally be when he rests. Jan Frylinck missed their last game due to dehydration, and should be good to be back for their last day.

Namibia: (possible) 1 Stephan Baard, 2 Michael van Lingen, 3 Craig Williams, 4 Gerhard Erasmus (capt), 5 David Wiese, 6 JJ Smit, 7 Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, 8 Zane Green (wk), 9 Jan Frylinck/Karl Birkenstock, 10 Ruben Trumpelmann, 11 Ben Shikongo/Bernard Scholtz

Pitch and conditions

The temperature is slated to dip under 30 degrees celsius by the time this evening game begins, so it should be among the more pleasant nights during this tournament. The Dubai pitch has aided those who have sought big runs over the last few games, and is likely to go that way again, particularly for the team batting second.

Stats and trivia

  • This will be the first time India and Namibia play each other in this format. The last international fixture between the sides was in the 2003 ODI World Cup
  • Namibia are loaded with left-arm seamers and that will be handy. India have averaged less than 15 and have scored at only 5.7 per over against left-arm pace in the powerplay since 2020. They are the worst team in that regard during that period
  • India will be playing their 150th T20I match. They’ve won 94 and lost 51 of those, making their win percentage of 64.8% second only to Afghanistan’s 68.1%
  • Quotes

    “Going forward, I think India’s talent is exciting, with the likes of Mohammad Siraj coming in, and Prasidh Krishna and a lot of exciting fast bowling talent in the country. With the workload management in place, which I’m sure is going to go forward, I think we would be a force to reckon with in the near future as well.”

    Bharat Arun, India’s outgoing bowling coach, is satisfied with what’s to come

    “Tomorrow’s a platform for any player to face the best in the world. A platform where you should treasure that moment. You should be up for it. And it’s no doubt that this team is going to be up for it. Tomorrow’s a classic game where you go in and you need to hold your own, you need to take brutal accountability for what you’re going to bring to the team. It’s the last little push.”

    Namibia will be operating in full force, says head coach Pierre de Bruyn

    Varun Shetty is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo



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    BBL 2021-22 – Jordan Thompson signs with Hobart Hurricanes in BBL

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    Hard-hitting Yorkshire allrounder is the final piece of the puzzle for Hurricanes

    Hobart Hurricanes have signed another Yorkshireman Jordan Thompson ahead of the BBL season as they chase an elusive title.

    The 25-year-old all-rounder was pursued by Hurricanes due to his unique skill set as a hard-hitting pace-bowling allrounder. He made two half-centuries in the recent Vitality Blast in England, striking at 167 across his career, and has been a wicket-taker with the ball claiming 34 wickets in 36 innings.

    “I’m really excited to play in the Big Bash for the first time,” Thompson said.

    “Back home, it’s a tournament we watch with great interest during the winter months, so I’m looking forward to meeting up with the team and experiencing it for myself.

    “It will be great to work with a new bunch of players and coaching staff, and I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can and playing the role that the team needs me to.”

    Thompson rounds out Hurricanes’ squad. The side will be largely unaffected by international duty with skipper Matthew Wade set to his first full season since 2018-19.

    Hobart Hurricanes squad: Scott Boland, Harry Brook (England), Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Peter Handscomb, Caleb Jewell, Josh Kann, Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal), Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Mitch Owen, Joel Paris, Wil Parker, D’Arcy Short, Jordan Thompson (England), Matthew Wade, Mac Wright



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    Incumbent Ryan Campbell tips Ryan ten Doeschate to take over as Netherlands coach

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    Campbell also has his eye on Enoch Nkwe, another South African coach, to rejoin Dutch ranks

    Ryan ten Doeschate has been tipped to take over as Netherlands’ national coach by incumbent Ryan Campbell, who heaped praise on the recently retired Dutch international. ten Doeschate retired at the recent T20 World Cup after 19 seasons as a professional cricketer and has travelled with Netherlands to South Africa, where he will work as a mentor. Campbell doesn’t think it will be too long before he will be in the main coaching role.

    “I know that he is really keen on his coaching,” Campbell said. “He is doing his Level 3 now in England and I have no doubt he has got offers thrown at him left, right and centre. To be honest, I am probably keeping this seat warm because next time we are here, you’ll probably be interviewing him as head coach and not me.”

    For this tour, which consists of three ODIs, ten Doeschate’s role is to work with Netherlands’ batters. “With our young batting line-up, having someone as calm and as knowledgeable as ten Doeschate in our coaching group, you can’t buy that off a shelf. Our youngsters are spending every minute of the day with Tendo and it’s going to hopefully improve them as cricketers and as people as well. We hope to keep Tendo involved as long as possible.”

    Campbell added that last statement because Netherlands have not always been able to hang on to ten Doeschate. He took a break from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup until late 2017, during which time he played as a T20 freelancer and captained Essex. It was only on Campbell’s appointment that ten Doeschate agreed to return to the team.

    “Tendo left Dutch cricket in 2011, and said it wasn’t professional enough, that he had had enough and it was sort of a one-man show,” Campbell said. “When I took over the job in 2017, my No. 1 goal was to prove to Ryan ten Doeschate that we had changed and we were a professional outfit and a really good cricket team and, most importantly, it would be something he would want to get back involved in. It’s one of my proudest moments as a coach to get him back involved and he’s played some amazing games of cricket for us.”

    In the four years since his return, ten Doeschate has played six List A matches for Netherlands, scoring an unbeaten 65 in their victory over Namibia in Dubai in 2017, and 15 T20Is, in which he scored 319 runs at an average of 39.87 and a strike rate of 135.74. He also continued racking up runs for Essex in red-ball cricket to underline his ability in all formats.

    “Tendo left Dutch cricket in 2011, and said it wasn’t professional enough, that he had had enough and it was sort of a one-man show. When I took over the job in 2017, my No. 1 goal was to prove to Ryan ten Doeschate that we had changed”

    Ryan Campbell

    “One of the words that gets thrown around way too much in sport is the word great but the fact is that Ryan ten Doeschate will go down as probably the greatest Associate cricketer ever to play the game,” Campbell said. “His numbers for the Dutch stack up against the world’s best. I think his ODI record is equal, or even in front of Virat Kohli’s. Unfortunately, Covid-19 cost us and him the last year and a half or two years of his career. But you can’t lose quality people and quality players as a system and so I have tried to move heaven and earth to make sure he gets involved as a coach.”

    Campbell also has his eye on another South African coach to rejoin Dutch ranks. Enoch Nkwe, South Africa’s former assistant coach who resigned before the T20 World Cup, worked as Campbell’s assistant in 2017 and has close ties with Netherlands and Associate cricket, which Campbell hopes will result in him heading back to their set-up soon.

    “Enoch is a really good coach and he is one of those who want to improve the game. I’ve texted our high-performance manager to tell him we need to find out about Enoch’s plans and see if we can get him back into Dutch cricket.”

    Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent



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    Ashes 2021-22 – Nathan Lyon endorses Pat Cummins and Steve Smith as ‘two best candidates’ for captain and vice-captain

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    Offspinner says having a bowler and batter as leaders would be beneficial, also states he wants Tim Paine behind the stumps at the Gabba

    Australia’s most experienced Test player Nathan Lyon believes Pat Cummins and Steven Smith will make a good leadership duo as Cricket Australia appears set to announce the pair as Test captain and vice-captain ahead of the Ashes.
    Both Cummins and Smith have been interviewed this week by a CA panel that has been specially convened to select Australia’s next men’s Test captain following the resignation of Tim Paine.
    Lyon, who is the only member of Australia’s squad to have played 100 Tests, endorsed the duo and was particularly excited about the possibility of Cummins taking over as skipper.

    “I think you look at the two guys who have been interviewed by Australia for the two roles, I think they’re probably the two best candidates in my eyes,” Lyon said.

    “Playing under Pat at New South Wales cricket in the one-day set up last year, I think he did a really good job, to be honest with you. I know it’s going to be a different kettle of fish, but he’s got a lot of senior players around him to support Pat if he does get the nod. But then you look at Steve Smith, I think Smithy is up there with the best batters in the world. He’s got a great cricket mind and I’ve got no dramas with both of them putting their hand up for the captaincy, to be honest with you.”

    Lyon said he had no interest in the official leadership role despite being the most experienced player in the side and declaring that he has aspirations of playing for a least two more years with tours of India and England at the forefront of his long-term goals.

    “If I put my hand up for the captaincy it means I’d have to hand over the team song and to be honest, I’d rather lead the team song,” Lyon said. “So I’m more than happy for Pat and Steve and anyone else to put their hand up. I’ll keep my hand down.”

    Lyon believes the yin and yang of having a bowler and a batter in the two leadership roles within the Test team would be of major benefit to the side’s performance.

    “I think it will have a really positive effect, if you look at the guys who are going to be captain and vice-captain and whichever way that goes,” he said. “I think it’s going to be really beneficial that you’ve got a bowler’s mindset, and also a batter’s mindset, rather than having two batters’ mindset. You’ve actually got both mindsets that can come together and really come up with some really good guidance, I guess.

    “So I’m really excited by the fact that we’re potentially going to have a bowler as captain but in saying that we’ve also got the best one of the best batters and one of the best players to play the game in Smithy there as well.

    “I think there’s going to be some really good, open, and honest conversations throughout those two guys and there’s going to be some really good guidance. We’ve got some really senior guys throughout our squad with some younger players here as well so I think Cricket Australia’s going to be in some good hands.”

    While Paine has handed over the captaincy and doubts have been raised publicly about his place in the side as a wicketkeeper-batter alone, Lyon was in no doubt as to whether Paine should be in the side for the first Test.

    “I think the selectors said that we’re going to pick the best available XI and, in my eyes, Tim Paine is the best keeper in the world,” Lyon said. “I know I want him. This is very selfish from a bowler’s point of view. I want the best gloveman behind the stumps and in my eyes, that’s Tim Paine.”

    Paine has been named in Tasmania’s Marsh Cup 50-over team to play Western Australia on Friday at Bellerive Oval in Hobart meaning he will play five consecutive days of cricket after getting through a four-day second XI game for Tasmania unscathed on Thursday.

    Paine kept for 167 overs against South Australia’s 2nd XI and took nine catches behind the stumps. He missed out with the bat in the first innings adjudged lbw for 1 off 2 deliveries.

    Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo



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