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With ICC World T20I Qualifiers just a month away, the associate and affiliate cricket teams are beginning to fasten their seat-belts as a busy month awaits them. Ireland, Netherlands, and Scotland are set to face each other off in a triangular T20I series, which is likely to act as a preparatory series before the all-important qualifying tournament. Ireland, who are set to face the Netherlands in the first match of this tri-series, have already announced a pretty dynamic squad. The Netherlands, on the other hand, have decided to omit a couple of their most experienced players. We expect a cracker of a contest between the two sides when they take on each other on 15th September at the Village in Dublin.
This upcoming series is vital for Ireland not only to build momentum before the World T20 Qualifiers but also pick their best eleven going forward. With plenty of youngsters available in this team, we expect this side to be a better fielding unit as compared to the last one.
The drastic change in the team combination can also be attributed to their poor run of form. Ireland suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Afghanistan followed by a tied series against Zimbabwe. It's been a long time since they last faced the Netherlands wherein the Irishmen just managed to emerge on top.
They have retained the core of their squad in Paul Stirling, Kevin O'Brien, Gary Wilson, and Andy Balbirnie and have added David Delany, Harry Tector, and Jacob Mulder to their team. It will be interesting to see how this new look Irish squad fare against the European rivals.
Playing 11 not yet available.
The Netherlands have omitted the likes of Ryan ten Doeschate, Colin Ackermann, and Roelof van der Merwe, primarily to test their bench strength, and it will be interesting to see Netherlands play without them. The trio was in excellent form in the Vitality T20 Blast, and their absence is sure to be felt.
Apart from Ryan ten Doeschate and Colin Ackermann, Tobias Visee, Max O'Dowd and Ben Cooper have done pretty well in recent times, and a lot will depend on those for the Netherlands to get going against the home side. Tobias Visee and Max O'Dowd have been exceptional in particular in getting their side of flying starts, and the Netherlands will be looking up to them once again.
While their batting looks pretty good considering the format, they are a little light on the bowling front. With Roelof van der Merwe missing from the squad, the onus will be on Pieter Seelaar to lead them from the front.
Playing 11 not yet available.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team for the first T20I between Ireland and Netherlands
The two teams have always produced exciting cricket, and it isn't expected to be any different this time around as well. While Ireland are banking on the amalgamation of youth and experience to get them through, Netherlands are looking to overwhelm their opposition with some flamboyance at the top of the order. With three key players absent from the visitors' lineup, Ireland have a better-balanced side. Additionally, Ireland have the advantage of playing at home. For those reasons, we think that Ireland are better placed to emerge on top in the first match of the series.
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