The three 50-over match series to be played between Netherlands and Zimbabwe starts on June 20th with the opening encounter to be played at Amstelveen. After having lost the first ODI against Scotland in the past week, Zimbabwe did well to bounce back and level the 2-match series against the Scots. This would give them a lot of confidence going into this three 50-over match series against Netherlands. Anyways, which team holds the upper hand this contest? Let’s have a look at the strengths and weaknesses of both teams in order to predict the winner of this particular contest.
Aggressive batting order! Netherlands have a very attacking top order. Stephan Myburg has the ability to give the side brisk starts when it comes to the shortest format of the sport. In the 50-over format he can take his time to settle and once he gets his eye in the opener can shift gears at will. During the World T20 in India last year, we got to see how Dutch batsmen play. They have a very aggressive approach in the powerplay. Hence, Zimbabwean bowlers need to be wary of that fact and not take the opposition batsmen for granted.
Home conditions! As they’re playing at home, Netherlands team know the conditions better than Zimbabwe. The amount of swing on offer, how the track plays, the pace of the outfield – Netherlands have more knowledge about these aspects as compared to Zimbabwe.
Ben Cooper & Roelof van der Merwe! Ben Cooper is an Australian born player while van der Merwe has played for South Africa too. Hence, the presence of these two fine players in that team makes Netherlands a team to watch out for. It’ll be interesting to see how these two players from Australia and South Africa play in this 3-match limited over series.
Don’t have an ODI status! Netherlands lost their ODI status in January 2014 and since then they haven’t played matches what we call proper ‘ODIs’. When it comes to limited-over rankings, Netherlands are ranked 13th over-all, hence playing a 50-over contest against a team that has played much more than them will force the Dutch to think out of the box.
Inexperienced team as compared to Zimbabwe! Payers in that Zimbabwean team are far more experienced while playing at the international level. And when you’re playing at the highest level experience counts the most. Pressure of an international fixture is different as compared to a domestic game. Even if Netherlands are playing at home, Zimbabwe have enough international experienced players in the team who have the ability to take the hosts down in the 3-match series.
Netherlands (Probable XI) – Stephan Myburgh, Peter Borren(c), Wesley Barresi, Ben Cooper, Timm van der Gugten, Paul van Meekeren, Roelof van der Merwe, Max O’Dowd, Michael Rippon, Shane Snater, Sikander Zulfiqar.
Coming off a win against Scotland! Zimbabwe are coming off a win against Scotland in their previous game. Hence, they have had fair amount of experience of playing in European conditions in the past one week. When you’re coming off a win, the team morale and mood in the camp is positive too. Hence, the African Minnows will look to carry the same momentum going into the first ODI of the series that is supposed to be played on Tuesday.
Skipper in form! Graeme Cremer took a 5-wicket haul against Scotland and when the captain is in form even the team can rely on him. Apart from his excellent bowling, Cremer has good captaincy skills too. Also, if compared to Peter Borren, Graeme Cremer is a much better player in the 50-over format.
Impact all-rounders! With the likes of Craig Ervine and Sean Williams in the team, Zimbabwe have two all-rounders who can make an impact in the outcome of the game. Both these batsmen have the ability to win matches single-handedly. Apart from their batting skills, they can get those crucial breakthroughs as well.
Chigumbura dropped from the squad! Former Zimbabwean skipper Elton Chigumbura was dropped from the squad prior this tour of Scotland and Netherlands. He’s out of form at present but just like Williams, Chigumbura is a handy all-rounder and a match winner on his own. Therefore, Zimbabwe might miss the services of this player against the Dutch.
Zimbabwe (Probable XI) – Solomon Mire, Hamilton Masakadza, Craig Ervine, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Malcolm Waller, Peter Moor, Graeme Cremer, Tendai Chatara, Richard Ngarava.
Match Prediction – Zimbawe are ranked 11th in ICC ODI rankings, on the other hand Netherlands are ranked 13th when it comes to 50-over cricket. They don’t have an ODI status at present, hence that makes Zimbabwe a superior side and the favorites to win this contest. But, off late ICC rankings can’t be relied upon in order to predict the winners of international contest. We saw Pakistan win the ICC Champions Trophy on Sunday. They were ranked 8th in ODI rankings but they beat all best teams in the business during the Champions Trophy. Coming back to this contest between Netherlands and Zimbawe – our vote goes to Zimbabwe, but your opinion might differ!
Possible winner – Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe (Squad) – Graeme Cremer(c), Ryan Burl, Chamu Chibhabha, Tendai Chatara, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Peter Moor, Chris Mpofu, Tarisai Musakanda, Richard Ngarava, Donald Tiripano, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams.
Netherlands (Squad) – Peter Borren(c), Wesley Barresi, Logan van Beek, Ben Cooper, Timm van der Gugten, Paul van Meekeren, Roelof van der Merwe, Stephan Myburgh, Max O’Dowd, Michael Rippon, Shane Snater, Tobias Visee, Saqib Zulfiqar, Sikander Zulfiqar.
Who Will Win Today?
- Zimbabwe (59%, 156 Votes)
- Netherlands (41%, 108 Votes)
Total Voters: 264