5 of the expected South Africa XI members have surnames of Dutch origin. 5 of the 15 members Netherlands squad were born in South Africa.
The above two statements give us a glimpse of the overlapping of cricketing history between the 2 nations who will face each other tomorrow at the HPCA stadium.
Their encounter last year in Australia saw one of the biggest upsets in T20I WC history and all of us(except the Protea fans) will be hoping that a similar event is seen on the 17th.
With a net run rate of 2.360, South Africa has announced itself on the big stage, running over Sri Lanka and Australia in their opening two matches. Especially the performance against Australia was as perfect as it could get. Batting as expected fired in all cylinders with De Kock leading the way with his 2nd consecutive century of the series. Bowling which was the weaker department since the 2019 CWC, complimented their batting this time around, and fielding too improved by heaps in comparison to the Sri Lanka match.
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A win tomorrow will bring South Africa to the top of the points table and Bavuma and Co. will look to make sure there isn’t any whatsoever resemblance to the 2022 matchup.
2 losses in 2 games, the fact which the Netherlands will be disappointed upon is the fact of them letting their opponents slip away at crucial moments.
Against Pakistan, it was 3rd wicket and 8th wicket partnerships which spoiled their brilliant bowling inside the first 10 overs, and in the next match, they gave away 50 runs in their last 3 overs primarily against Santner, allowing New Zealand to post an above par score.
Moreover, in both these matches, they weren’t able to make use of their batting depth, getting bowled out by the 41st and 47th over respectively.
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The only associate nation of this World Cup, they will take inspiration from Afghanisthan’s victory and will try to replicate their heroics from the t2O WCs in the longer white-ball format.
So far, the HPCA stadium has been one of the most and probably the only disappointing stadiums of this World Cup, the culprit being the outfield. Players ahead of the England-Bangladesh encounter were advised to not dive for fear of injuries. So there’s that dimension added to tomorrow’s match though we are to believe the outfield conditions have improved by now.
Apart from that both matches had pitches which were anything but two-paced, with the bowl travelling both towards and away from the bat, briskly(as expected). Seamers should extract more from the pitch than the spinners given the altitude of the stadium and the South African will fancy their chances against the Dutch lineup due to this reason.
Probable Playing XI
South Africa: Temba Bavuma, Quinton De Kock, Rassie Van Der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Gerald Coetzee, Lungi Ngidi
The only choice which South Africa has to make is whether to call back Coetzee for this match. He made his CWC debut against Sri Lanka but was replaced by Shamsi in the 2nd match but that had more to do with the stadium in question; Ekana.
With the stadium being situated at 1457 metres above sea level, South Africa might go with the ‘horses for courses’ theory tomorrow and most likely for the rest of the tournament too,
Netherlands: Vikramjit Singh, Max O’Dowd, Colin Ackermann, Bas de Leede, Teja Nidamanuru, Scott Edwards (capt & wk), Sybrand Engelbrecht, Roelof van der Merwe, Logan van Beek/Ryan Klein, Paul van Meekeren. Aryan Dutt
Logan Van Beek missed the previous encounter due to a hamstring injury and there’s no update available on his availability. If he’s fit, he will most likely come in for Klein(who tbh hasn’t done much wrong since his debut), or else the XI is likely to remain unchanged.
Wesley Barresi, the only squad member who has experience of the CWC except for the ongoing series, has been benched. He might be given a go in place of Engelbrecht.
Players to Watch Out For
Quinton De Kock: An average of 30.00 after 17 CWC innings, De Kock WAS the current poster boy of the “South Africa Chokers” tag. Along with this being his last ODI assignment(at the age of 30), the whole ordeal must have been blood-sucking for Quinton. However, he didn’t let it show in his game. Smashing back-to-back centuries at the start of his campaign and will be chasing the record set by another leftie wicketkeeper.
With nearly 6.5k runs at an average of 45.61 and a strike rate of 96.16, De Kock has yet to disturb the Dutch Bowlers, averaging 7.5 against the Netherlands across 4 international games.
In what has been a glorious international career, he certainly wouldn’t want to leave such a black mark for future trollers.
Kagiso Rabada: Averaging an ordinary 29.6 between the 2019 and 23’ CWCs, Kagiso seems to have found his rhythm back, doing well in the flat Delhi pitch, and taking it a notch up against the Australians, picking up 3 wickets for 33.
No more new-ball terror for the opponents, since Rabada now primarily bowls at the middle and the death, his blistering deliveries catapulted at the good-length region, will prove to be a massive challenge for the brittle Netherlands middle order, only amplified by the HPCA stadium.
Roelof Van Der Merwe: Out of his 18 one-day internationals, 13 of them have come while representing South Africa. In one of the most bizarre situations in CWC history, Roelof will be putting his entire efforts to thwart a team for which he once sang the national anthem ahead of a match.
Averaging under 20 across t20 leagues this year, Van Der Merwe removed both Rachin and Conway in his previous match. Usually not a big spinner of the bowl, Edwards should try him out explicably at the death, a role which he has essenced over his 300+ T20 wickets.
SA vs NED Dream11 Team for Match 15 of 2023 WC
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