Eagles aim to soar again - Namibia team preview
Gerhard Erasmus (c), JJ Smit, Divan la Cock, Stephen Baard, Nicol Loftie Eaton, Jan Frylinck, David Wiese, Ruben Trumpelmann, Zane Green, Bernard Scholtz, Tangeni Lungameni, Michael van Lingen, Ben Shikongo, Karl Birkenstock, Lohan Louwrens, Helao (Pikky) Ya France.
Best Finish at Tournament
Super 12 stage (2021)
After their historic Super 12 qualification last year, the Namibians weren’t able to open their account in the next phase, despite having their share of good periods in matches.
Results in the last 10 T20I games
(most recent first): W W L W L W L W L L
v Sri Lanka (October 16), Kardinia Park, Geelong
v Netherlands (October 18), Kardinia Park, Geelong
v UAE (October 20), Kardinia Park, Geelong
v Netherlands (October 18) - Namibia won the corresponding fixture last year, and the sides would again likely need victory here if they are to progress to the Super 12s.
Namibia were well-calculated in their chase of 165 in the encounter, with David Wiese’s 66* (40) timing his run to near perfection around the batting work of skipper Erasmus and JJ Smit.
The Dutch have re-grouped after what was a tumultuous campaign last year, and should provide an even stiffer challenge this time in Geelong.
Gerhard Erasmus - In spite of battling a broken finger last year, Erasmus showed his quality at the last tournament, and remains firmly in the conversation as best batter in the Associate game. Able to manipulate the field with good placement, Erasmus has an array of shots, and strikes at over 130 with an average still well-over 30.
Erasmus will likely roll out some off-breaks in Namibia’s bowling effort, and provides energy and athleticism in the field.
Re-igniting the fire of cricket back home as the game’s popularity booms in schools across the country, there’s a fire surely burning in every national team player determined to go further than last year.
Like many other teams in Australia, the tournament throws up “the same, but different” scenarios to the last campaign. They again open with a match against a Sri Lankan side simmering ahead of the First Round, before turning their attention again to the Dutch for match two, likely a make-or-break fixture.
The only difference is a third match not against Ireland, but rather the other successful side from Qualifier A: United Arab Emirates.
Outside the retirement of Craig Williams, the bulk of the squad for Australia remains largely the same, with the addition of two batters, Divan la Cock and Lohan Louwrens. 19-year-old la Cock has banged the door down after showing his class in domestic and 50-over action, while Louwrens, an ex-U19 World Cup captain also takes the gloves should Zane Green not make the XI.
The pair’s selection hint a change of tack at the top of the order, with perhaps one criticism of the side last year being slow starts in Powerplay overs. The tactic to play a safer game set the platform for famously-dubbed “Bomb Squad” of Erasmus, David Wiese and JJ Smit in the First Round, though playing it safe in fielding restriction overs won’t continue the team’s evolution.
Smit stands as the seventh all-rounder on the MRF Tyres Player Rankings, though his output with the ball remains unclear, with a recurring knee injury plaguing the left-armer.
Namibia aren’t short of left-arm options with the ball, as 2021 proved. Ruben Trumpelmann pushes through the quickest, with Jan Frylinck, dubbed the street fighter by coach de Bruyn, toiling away. Bernard Scholtz and his left-arm orthodox should enjoy the Geelong surface if the short boundaries are avoided.
OWN THE GAME
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