Having won eight matches in a row and with the top spot on the points table confirmed, India takes on the Netherlands in what is a dead rubber clash for the hosts at the 2023 ICC Men’s ODI World Cup on Sunday.
The Scott Edwards-led Netherlands, on the other hand, have a lot to play for. They currently occupy the last spot in the table with just two wins in eight matches, but an unlikely win at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru against the hosts could not only propel them into the top eight but also help them qualify for the 2025 ICC Men’s Champions Trophy.
India enter the contest in red-hot form with their bowlers running riot and the batters reduced to playing the support cast. Their last two opponents, Sri Lanka and South Africa, failed to cross the 100-run mark.
Skipper Edwards has been particularly harsh on his batters throughout the tournament for inconsistency and they would once again face an uphill task to keep the runs flowing against this in-form Indian bowling unit. Their victories against South Africa and Bangladesh too seem to be a thing of distant past as the World Cup heads into the knockout stage.
For India though, this might be a chance to rest some of their main bowlers and give some game time to the likes of Shardul Thakur, R Ashwin, and perhaps even a World Cup debut to the freshly drafted-in Prasidh Krishna.
Conditions and Pitch Report
There is nothing predictable about Bengaluru – neither the weather conditions nor the pitch. The last match played at the venue on Thursday – Sri Lanka versus New Zealand – was expected to be washed out but the rain never arrived.
Rain is expected to stay clear of the Chinnaswamy stadium on Sunday, but considering the unpredictability of the Bengaluru weather, it cannot be completely ruled out either.
The pitch too has displayed multiple natures in the four matches played so far on the ground this World Cup. While Australia piled on a massive 369/7 against Pakistan, who were later bowled out for 305, in the first match here, Sri Lanka restricted England to just 156 before chasing it down with eight wickets and more than 24 overs to spare.
Later, New Zealand also scored 401 batting first against Pakistan, while Sri Lanka themselves were bowled out for 171 by the Kiwis on Thursday.
Pacers, however, have enjoyed a better time in Bengaluru compared to spinners in all the matches so far.
India: In-form Virat Kohli will once again hold the key for India against the Netherlands, considering his ties to the city and the stadium, albeit in a different format. The leading run scorer for the hosts equalled the record for most ODI centuries in the previous match against South Africa and will have the opportunity to go one better than the legendary Sachin Tendulkar when he takes the field on Sunday.
Netherlands: Bas de Leede will hold the key for Netherlands against India. The 23-year-old is their leading wicket taker with 14 wickets and has played a pivotal role in both their wins so far. Edwards though would hope for a better contribution with the bat from de Leede, who has had no noteworthy contribution as a batter after his 67 in their World Cup opener against Pakistan.
9 March, 2011 – India won by 5 wickets
12 February, 2003 – India won by 68 runs
In World Cups
India Wins: 2
Netherlands Wins: 0