England, who have had a horror showing in the World Cup, will hope to get a win under their belt when they take on the Netherlands at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Wednesday.
Languishing at the bottom of the table, England have won only one game in the tournament. They will do their best to change that and get another. However, it will not be easy for them, given how strong the Dutch have looked in the tournament. They surprised everyone with the stunning victory over South Africa. The Proteas have already qualified for the semis.
The Netherlands must rely on their batters Max O’Dowd and Colin Ackermann. Both of these players have great potential; they can achieve a lot. Skipper Scott Edwards, too, is known for his ability to rotate the strike well in the late middle-order and also use the long handle as and when required. Veteran Roelof van der Merwe, who has also played for South Africa in international cricket, is perhaps the best spinner for the Dutch, although young Aryan Dutt is turning heads, too. England will be up against a determined opponent on Wednesday, and it won’t be easy for them to get a positive result. For England, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler must come back to form to put pressure on the Dutch. It will also help them if their best batter Joe Root manages to get some runs under his belt.
Probable Playing XIs
England: Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (c and wk), Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Chris Woakes, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood.
The Netherlands: Vikramjit Singh, Max O’Dowd, Wesley Barresi, Colin Ackermann, Bas de Leede, Teja Nidamanaru, Scott Edwards (c and wk), Roelof van der Merwe, Paul van Meekeren, Logan van Beek, Aryan Dutt.
Ben Stokes: Although he has had a rather quiet World Cup, Ben Stokes can light it up anytime. England would want him to come into his own, and help them get their second win of the tournament.
Bas de Leede: All-rounder Bas de Leede offers a lot of variety to this Dutch side, and one can expect him to come good against the English. His batting in the top order gives his side the ability to set up big totals.
Historically, England have been the stronger of the two teams. Yet, their current form means that the Dutch can have an edge over the current world champions. This should be a closely contested game, but one can expect the Netherlands to win. The Dutch have enough arsenal in their ammo to beat the Three Lions.