Can the Netherlands bring high-flying New Zealand back to earth?

Big picture: Can the Netherlands thwart New Zealand’s plans?

Hand on heart, how many expected New Zealand to beat England the way they did in the first match of the 2023 World Cup? But that’s what New Zealand does. Fly unnoticed without making a big impression, but deliver when it counts.
And they didn’t do it in a conventional way. With Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson injured, New Zealand opted to employ only three frontline bowlers, four part-time bowlers and none of Ish Sodhi. However, they restricted England’s formidable batting unit to 282 for 9. Then, despite the absence of Kane Williamson, they needed just 36.2 overs to destroy the target.
With New Zealand now moving to Hyderabad for match number 2 of their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands, they will still be without Williamson, but according to head coach Gary Stead, Ferguson and Southee are likely to be fit and available. Meanwhile, Williamson is aiming to return to action in New Zealand’s third match against Bangladesh.
If the numbers are anything to go by, New Zealand will definitely have the advantage in this clash. They have faced the Netherlands four times in ODIs, winning on all four occasions – three of those matches by over 100 runs. In the last ODI series between the two teams in 2022, New Zealand won 3-0.
But it would be foolish to underestimate the Netherlands. Not after their brilliant performance in the World Cup qualifiers, where they finished runners-up against three full member nations, and certainly not after causing trouble for Pakistan in their first match. They did not achieve a satisfactory result, but they were not hits.

The Netherlands will have another chance on Monday, but their task will be completed against a team that is confident. For the record, New Zealand has never lost a World Cup match – ODI or T20I – to an associate nation in its history.

But streaks and statistics are there to be broken and changed. The Netherlands showed courage in their first match. Besides, they have been in Hyderabad longer than in New Zealand and know the conditions better. Now they need to translate all this into results and take a step towards the semi-final, which they were counting on before the tournament.

Netherlands BOWL (last five completed matches, newest first)
New Zealand WWWLL

In the spotlight: Devon Conway and Vikramjit Singh

Devon Conway 2023 is all or nothing. This year, he has scored 601 runs in 11 innings at odds of 66.77, giving him four centuries and a fifty. However, in the remaining six innings, Conway failed to cross the 20-run mark even once. The best option for the Netherlands will be to see Conway on defense quite early because once he’s ready, it’s usually a long-term game. However, this is easier said than done.
Vikramjit Singh topped the Dutch rock charts this year. Their best score in World Cup qualifying with 326 runs in eight innings (40.75), followed by 52 runs on ODI World Cup debut. The left-hander has solid technique and, most importantly, plenty of time in his hands. He will be looking to do one better than he did against Pakistan.

Team news: Van Beek doubts

New Zealand’s squad is likely to remain unchanged with Rachin Ravindra coming in at number three and Will Young retaining his place at the top. While Southee did hit the net on the eve of the match, Ferguson did not. It is likely that New Zealand will play one of these players instead of Mark Chapman or James Neesham.

New Zealand (possible XI): 1 Devon Conway, 2 Will Young, 3 Rachin Ravindra, 4 Daryl Mitchell, 5 Tom Latham (captain, week), 6 Glenn Phillips, 7 Mark Chapman, 8 Tim Southee/Lockie Ferguson, 9 Mitchell Santner, 10 Matt Henry, 11 Trent Boult

There is an injury cloud hanging over Logan van Beek – he is struggling with a hamstring injury. With a long way to go before the tournament, the Netherlands may not be willing to take the risk yet on one of their best fast bowlers.

Netherlands (possible XI): 1 Vikramjit Singh, 2 Max O’Dowd, 3 Colin Ackermann, 4 Scott Edwards (captain, week), 5 Bas de Leede, 6 Teja Nidamanuru, 7 Saqib Zulfiqar, 8 Roelof van der Merwe, 9 Aryan Dutt, 10 Paul van Meekeren, 11 Ryan Klein

The ground in Hyderabad has historically performed well, with the average score in the first innings being 288. On the eve of the match, the pitch had a light brown tint and no grass at all. It sparkled nicely against the light.

Temperatures should be in the mid-thirties in the afternoon, while evenings will be a bit cooler. No chance of rain.

“Kane is making really good progress and we’re pretty confident he’ll play his third game for us. Today we have another training session, so we will complete the squad after completing this training. At this stage with Kane: Looks like he’ll start the tournament in game three.”
Head coach Gary Stead is confident that Kane Williamson will feature in the World Cup soon

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