Pakistan vs Netherlands: Preview and Prediction
Pakistan will be locking horns with the Netherlands on October 6 in the second ODI of the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad. It will be the first match for both nations as they will be looking forward to starting their campaign with a win.
Babar Azam‘s Pakistan is currently suffering from a series of losses while the Netherlands are seen as the underdogs, who can potentially win a few matches and award an upset to a couple of cricketing giants. Not to forget, the Dutch cricket team handed the West Indies a historic defeat in the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifiers, earlier this year, which also paved their way in the main draw of the tournament.
What have they done so far?
Pakistan recently participated in the 2023 Asia Cup, where they easily qualified for the Super Four stage. However, playing on the reserve day, they suffered a whacking defeat from India by 228 runs. In addition to that, their tournament ended after they lost against Dasun Shanaka’s Sri Lanka via DLS method. Naseem Shah also suffered a major shoulder injury during the tournament and Hasan Ali has replaced him in Pakistan’s ICC World Cup squad.
Pakistan locked horns against New Zealand in their first warm-up match. Babar Azam, Muhammad Rizwan, and Saud Shakeel played brilliant innings and led the Green Shirts to a total of 345 runs. However, the target was easily chased down by a compelling team effort from the Blackcaps as Pakistan’s bowling was disappointing and Shaheen Afridi didn’t come up to bowl against the Blackcaps.
Next up, they squared off against Australia in their second warm-up match. Pakistan played the fixture in Shadab Khan’s captaincy as they looked forward to experimentation. Talking about the bowlers, only Shaheen Shah Afridi and Usana Mir looked sharp as all the other bowlers were punished by the Australian batters. Babar Azam gave another praiseworthy performance as he scored 90 runs off only 59 balls. However, the match ended in a loss for the South Asian side.
On the flip side, the Netherlands were in action in July, when they were participating in the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup qualifiers. The Dutch initially defeated two-time World Cup champions, the West Indies in the group stage. In addition to that, they secured second place in the tournament after defeating European rivals, Scotland.
Taking a look at their performance in the warm-up matches, they played Australia in the Greenfield International Stadium in their first warm-up match. The match was delayed due to rain and the fans witnessed a shortened match. The match eventually ended with no result and their next fixture against India was also abandoned due to rain.
Head to Head Record
Pakistan and the Netherlands have squared off against each other in one-day internationals for a total of six times. The Green Shirts have recorded wins in all the fixtures while the Netherlands are still looking to win their first match against Pakistan.
Babar Azam (Pakistan): Undoubtedly, Babar Azam is the most important figure in the whole Pakistan team. The skipper has never left an opportunity to impress the spectators and supporters. Hence, his wicket will be the most crucial for the Dutch cricket team. Azam also performed exceptionally in the ICC World Cup warm-up matches, scoring two half-centuries.
Apart from Babar Azam, Shaheen Shah Afridi is also an important player for the team. The left-arm seamer has always been praised for his bowling prowess, hence, he’ll have to perform well to help his side ace in the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Logan van Beek (The Netherlands): Logan van Beek was the man behind the Netherlands’ historic super-over victory against the West Indies in the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifiers. The all-rounder has been the lynchpin for Scott Edward’s Dutch side in their recent outings. Hence, he has had to perform the finest on the big stage for the Netherlands.
Surprisely, he also dismissed Josh Inglis and Pat Cummins in their first warm-up match. Logan van Beek has been a bowling all-rounder for most of his career, however, he has also started paying attention to his batting skills lately.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam ©, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi
Netherlands: Vikramjit Singh, Max O’Dowd, Wesley Barresi, Scott Edwards ©, Bas de Leede, Teja Nidamanuru, Colin Ackermann, Logan van Beek, Aryan Dutt, Ryan Klein, Shariz Ahmad
Despite being in decent form, the Netherlands is still the unlikely candidate to defeat Babar Azam’s Pakistan in their ICC Cricket World Cup opener. Pakistan is expected to pick up an easy victory, which will help them gain confidence ahead of the coming fixtures against the likes of Sri Lanka, India, and Australia.