Borren expects backlash against Zimbabwe
If the way Zimbabwe crushed Afghanistan in their second practice match after the shocking loss to Hong Kong in the first warm-up is anything to go by, Netherlands better be wary of what is coming their way.
Ireland are ranked above Zimbabwe in the ICC T20 rankings, but a Test nation does not go down every day to an Associate in any format. Peter Borren, the Netherlands captain, knows Brendan Taylor's side will be smarting after the last-ball defeat to the Irish and is expecting a backlash from Zimbabwe on Wednesday afternoon.
"It's going to be a tough game against a team we haven't played very often," Borren said. "Having seen them play a warm-up game and now this match (against Ireland), we can say that they have a varied attack, they have got a lot of variations in their attack and they have got a very dangerous batting line-up. They will be disappointed (with the Ireland game) and they will come hard at us."
It will be another afternoon game for Zimbabwe and while they will have got a measure of the conditions against Ireland, Netherlands will have to alter their approach, having played UAE under lights in their first match.
Taylor said the toss was important against Ireland, as the ball came on better in the second innings with dew starting to appear. Having said that, he also added that his fast bowlers had found some swing, which hadn't been the case when the Irish bowled. Borren admitted conditions were going to be different for Netherlands on Wednesday, and that it would take some adjusting.
"Definitely, conditions will change a little bit. There was a bit of dew out there, I think the ball came on to the bat pretty well (against UAE). In the earlier match, perhaps the ball held up a little bit more during the day. In saying that, it was obviously a very good wicket for batting as well, a fantastic game, Zimbabwe-Ireland. We saw both batting teams prosper. It is going to be pretty similar but maybe a little bit more hard work with the ball not coming on quite as much during the day."
Borren will be expecting his batsmen can come up with the necessary adjustments. They certainly came back superbly against UAE after two woeful showings in the warm-ups had drawn Borren's wrath.
The captain was pleased with the emphatic manner in which his batsmen had hunted down the target of 152, and hoped the lessons from the warm-ups been learnt. "Obviously in the end a pretty comfortable victory. We have talked about those run chases not going so well, so hopefully we have put that to bed now. We have done this comfortably, so hopefully we have a blueprint going forward."
Borren was asked whether Netherlands were missing allrounder Ryan ten Doeschate, who hasn't played for them since the 2011 World Cup, but continues to turn out in various domestic circuits around the world. Borren said it had been a while since the side had had his services, and they had become accustomed to not having him around.
"He hasn't played since 2011, so I guess we are pretty used to that. Obviously he is a fantastic cricketer and we would love to have him here because he wins game of cricket. But in saying that, we are very used to it. We have played a lot of cricket in the last three-four years without Ryan. Hopefully one day he is keen but if he is not, we are pretty used to it."
Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo