Resurgent Australia Face Tenacious Netherlands In Cricket World Cup 2023
Bolstered by the revival of their batting firepower, a rejuvenated Australia will look for another dominating show but need to be cautious when they face a tenacious Netherlands in their next World Cup match in New Delhi on Wednesday.
- Press Trust of India
- Updated: October 24, 2023 01:27 PM IST
Bolstered by the revival of their batting firepower, a rejuvenated Australia will look for another dominating show but need to be cautious when they face a tenacious Netherlands in their next World Cup match in New Delhi on Wednesday. After a disappointing start to their campaign, the five-time champions turned it around with two solid performances against Sri Lanka and Pakistan but they know very well that they can ill-afford to take the Dutch lightly in what is turning out to be a World Cup of upsets.
The Netherlands have been one of the success stories of this showpiece event as they stunned an in-form South Africa at Dharamsala after returning to the World Cup following a 12-year hiatus.They will look to take a cue from Afghanistan's win over Pakistan to keep their story alive.
However, it will be easier said than done, especially after the marauding show of the Aussies against Pakistan.
The reasons behind the turnaround include their top-order batting might, the return to form of spinner Adam Zampa and the consistent performances of pacers Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc.
The return to form of David Warner and Mitchell Marsh is good news for Australia as they can blow away any opponent with their sheer ruthless batting. A case in point is the 259-run opening partnership that the two shared against Pakistan.
Marsh has scored 351 runs at a strike rate of 108.3 in seven innings as an opener, grabbing the opportunity with both hands in place of an injured Travis Head, while the ever-dependable Warner has looked in ominous touch.
But Australia will need to add firepower in their middle order, especially with Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne struggling at the moment.
While Smith has crossed the 30-mark only once in his last four innings, Labuschagne has fared slightly better though he is yet to score a half-century in the tournament and has a low strike rate of 64.70.
With Head nearing his full fitness, the Delhi game could be a final test for Smith and Labuschagne to prove themselves as another failure might see one of them lose their place to the returning Head, who also provides the team with a handy off-spin option.
Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoins haven't exactly set things on fire with the bat but wicketkeeper batter Josh Inglis has been among the runs with two crucial fifties.
In bowling, Hazlewood has been successful in keeping things tight, Zampa strangled the middle order and returned with two four-wicket hauls in the last two matches which went a long way in getting the team back to winning ways.
Starc though continued his dream run of taking wickets in all World Cup matches and would fancy his chances after taking a hat-trick in their rain-hit abandoned warm-up game against the Dutch. But skipper Pat Cummins need to do more to lead from the front and produce those breakthroughs.
Spin will come into play at the Feroz Shah Kotla track, where Afghanistan tweakers dismantled England the other day and Australia will hope Maxwell provides Zampa with the support at the other end.
The Dutch, on the other hand, have never beaten Australia in ODIs. They lost the two times they met way back in 2003 and 2007.
But the Orange Brigade as shown what they are capable of in the run-up to the World Cup and also during their sensational win over South Africa and a narrow loss to Sri Lanka in the last match.
Armed with a gang of steady all-rounders, the Netherlands have shown they are capable of winning but to have a consistent run they will need better execution, especially from the top-order and the bowling department.
While the likes of opener Max ODowd and Vikramjit Singh haven't been able to give them a good start, the Netherlands have found someone or the other to take them to 200-plus scores in the tournament.
But they have bowled too many boundary balls and also floundered in the fielding department to undo their good work.
Bas de Leede, Aryan Dutt and PA van Meekeren have done most damage with the ball but will need support from others and better execution to tame their opposition.
All eyes will also be on the deteriorating air quality of the national capital, which has been a concern during an international fixture in the past.
Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith, Alex Carey, Josh Inglis, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc.
Netherlands: Scott Edwards (c & wk), Colin Ackermann, Wesley Barresi (wk), Bas de Leede, Aryan Dutt, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Ryan Klein, Teja Nidamanuru, Max O'Dowd, Saqib Zulfiqar, Shariz Ahmad, Logan van Beek, Roelof van der Merwe, Paul van Meekeren and Vikramjit Singh.
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