Namibia's opportunity to prove it is no pushover


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Namibia was the best among the associated teams in Africa

Namibia were the best among Africa's associated teams © Getty

It's quite a throwback when you think about the last time Australia and Namibia faced each other in a full men's international match. It was February 27, 2003 in Potchefstroom, a day Namibian cricket fans will remember with mixed feelings. It was after all when they faced the Over-50 World Cup champions, but also when they were badly beaten by the Over-50 World Cup champions, knocked out by Glenn McGrath ( 7/15) for 45.

Here we are 21 years later, and Australia are still the 50-and-over world champions. But unlike then, this is no longer a Namibian team that is simply here as a participant in a global event. While 2003 was primarily our first exposure to Namibia as an international cricket team, their development as a T20I team in recent years has been significant. And they always seem to have a surprise up their sleeve, every time they find themselves at these T20 World Cups.

That said, just like in 2003, Australia launched this campaign in the Caribbean in an emphatic manner. If they managed to defeat Oman quite convincingly after a hesitant start, they were even more complete to get the better of England, the reigning champions, in Barbados. And they arrived in Antigua, more or less qualified for the Super 8s, with a chance of qualifying if they win on Tuesday June 11.

For Namibia, this will be another opportunity to show the Australians that they are not pushovers. Their victory against Oman on the opening day of Group B was tempting enough to think they were the potential surprise machine in the competition. But they were clearly outclassed by Scotland in their second match, yet they still aren't able to technically complete a superb march to the second round.

When: Australia vs Namibia, June 11, 8:30 p.m. local, 6:00 a.m. IST (June 12), 10:30 a.m. (June 12) AEST

Or: Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua

What to expect: You feel the heat in Antigua before you feel the humidity, unlike Barbados and a few other islands in the region. It's a hot sun and it's also why we've always had a history of dry, cracked land on this beautiful island. The one at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium should be no different, as we saw in the Oman-Scotland match a few days earlier. But as we saw there, Antigua was touted as being one of the venues where batters could breathe a little easier and some Australians in particular wouldn't mind at all.

Face-to-face: This is their first ever T20I meeting

Team monitoring:

Australia:After bringing back Pat Cummins for Nathan Ellis against England, there is a chance that one of the other fast bowlers will get a break in Antigua, and it would be interesting to see if the replacement is Ashton Agar as an all-rounder.

Tactics and confrontations: They have been aggressive at the top and their power hitting order also looks in good shape. It's really only the form of Glenn Maxwell, who failed to get his crucial hand in the match against England, that one would think Australia would hope will come true in Antigua.

Probable XI:Travis Head, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh (c), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (week), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc/Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

Namibia:All players are fit and available for selection. They will probably stay with the same XI

While Ruben Trumpelmann and Bernard Scholtz have been Namibia's strong points with the ball, their batting failed to cope with disciplined bowling, both against Oman and Scotland. And one might expect the challenge to get no easier against the Australians. Their only chance of pushing Australia would be for the likes of Kotze, Erasmus and the rest to perform well and set up David Wiese for a grand final, again with the hope that their bowling attack would be able to stop the 'Quick-scoring Australian. hitters.

Probable XI:JP Kotze, Nikolaas Davin, Jan Frylinck, Gerhard Erasmus (c), Malan Kruger, David Wiese, Zane Green (week), Ruben Trumpelmann, JJ Smit, Bernard Scholtz, Tangeni Lungameni

Did you know?

– All of Australia's top seven batters have had a strike rate of over 150 in T20Is since the last T20 World Cup.

– With 15 wickets in 10 matches, Marcus Stoinis is Australia's leading wicket-taker in the shortest format since the last T20 World Cup.

What they said:

It was good to see what we can expect from them and what level we need to be at. Obviously it didn't go very well, but for a lot of guys it was their first outing against such a big team, so I think a lot of lessons were learned and hopefully ready for tomorrow. Bernard Scholtz on Namibia's experience against Australia during warm-ups

I think first of all, you have to qualify for the next stage. SO, [against] Namibia, we need a victory to secure our passage. And then I think after that, once we have confirmed that qualification, we can then start to look at that potential if we deem it necessary – Andrew McDonald on the possibility of experimenting with the XI

© cricbuzz

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