By Anand Vasu in Chittagong
Despite playing some positive cricket, both teams have fallen short at the World T20; now, they’re looking to bow out with heads held high
If Netherlands is thinking back to 2009 at Lord’s where a total team effort, led by Tom de Grooth’s 49 helped the team chase down 163 and stun England, you cannot blame it for taking inspiration where it can. The conditions, however, are completely different here, and England’s T20 matchplay has come on in leaps and bounds.
England will be looking back too, but not quite as far as 2009. This winter has been a tough one for the team, including an away Ashes drubbing, and Monday’s game provides a chance to draw a line on the discontent and begin the process of moving on.
Ashley Giles, who has been England’s stand-in coach since Andy Flower vacated the job, made it clear that his team's final match of the tournament was an important one, despite the fact that it had been knocked out, and none of the players will want to risk angering the man tipped to get the coaching job full-time.
"I made it very clear as we left the ground after the South Africa game that we must prepare for the Netherlands as we would have if we'd beaten South Africa,” said Giles. “The Netherlands match does represent a banana skin, as it has to a couple of the other teams - or very close to that. South Africa probably should have lost that game, I couldn't quite understand what the Netherlands were doing at the back end, and they gave New Zealand a good run as well. It's a World Cup (World T20) game, playing for England and we need to win the match. Whether we're in the competition or out of it winning games of cricket is important.”
Giles revealed exactly how his team felt after hopes of making the final four were dashed. “It was pure frustration to play so positively with the bat in the three games and come up short. Not losing wickets up front, getting a base, expressing ourselves... We've done all that,” said Giles. “There were areas we need to improve - certainly in the field and with the ball at times. Since we've been in West Indies and here we've not put our perfect game together. In the early part of the tour, we fielded well and bowled well at times. The opposite has happened during the World T20. At important times we didn't get our skills right. The conditions were difficult but the same for both sides so we have to get over that.”
When asked if his players could hold their heads high after their performance, Giles stayed grounded. “It's difficult to say that, you can't pull the wool over anyone's eyes: we've just been knocked out of (the tournament). But there were positives, quite a few of them,” said Giles. “We've seen Lumb come in get a hundred in the one-dayers, Hales played really well here, Moeen Ali has come in and surprised us in a few ways. The group as a whole has worked very hard and maintained a good spirit. They've run headlong into these games. Sri Lanka are a fantastic outfit so to win that game was a highlight. I'm disappointed for the guys because they have worked hard. I can't knock the effort.”
And Giles will be asking for one final effort, against the Netherlands, before England players pack their bags and head home. England is looking for a win, and to that end ruled out making changes just to give some of the players on the bench a chance. “We pick a team to win the game. The conditions will be different to the evening games,” said Giles. “We'll probably play a different formula. I don't think we'll play guys for the sake of giving them a one-match experience. We'll play the side best suited to winning.”
Netherlands won’t be too worried about the combination England will put on the park, or the conditions on offer in the afternoon game. It has shown different skillsets in the two strong games it has played. Against South Africa, the bowling was disciplined and tidy but the batting froze; against New Zealand, the batting showed it could be sensible, but the bowlers hit the wrong lengths first up. If it can get it all together, the Netherlands will hope it’s enough to pull off an upset.
England: Stuart Broad (capt), Michael Lumb, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales, Luke Wright, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Tim Bresnan, Jade Dernbach, James Tredwell, Stephen Parry, Craig Kieswetter.
Netherlands: Peter Borren (capt), Wesley Barresi (wk), Mudassar Bukhari, Ben Cooper, Tom Cooper, Tom Heggelman, Ahsan Malik, Vivian Kingma, Stephan Myburgh, Michael Rippon, Pieter Seelaar, Michael Swart, Eric Szwarczynski, Logan van Beek, Timm van der Gugten.