Match Facts

March 3, Mohali
Start time 9.30am (0400 GMT)

The Big Picture

The minnows haven't exactly covered themselves in glory so far in this World Cup, which those who are looking for an excuse to excise them from the 2015 tournament will use as grounds to support their argument. But there must be an upset brewing somewhere. Surely there must be. Netherlands v South Africa is unlikely to be the one, though, if the history of the two teams is any indication. They've met twice before, and South Africa have completed huge victories both times - a 221-run margin in the 2007 World Cup and a 160-run win back in 1996.
This World Cup has taught us two things about the Netherlands batting line-up. One is that they are capable of posting big totals, as they showed with a Ryan ten Doeschate-inspired 292 against England in their opening game in Nagpur. The second is that express pace bowling can be their downfall, as Kemar Roach's six-for demonstrated in their second game. And Dale Steyn qualifies as express, so they're in for a tough battle in Mohali.
South Africa will be aiming to notch up their second victory from two games, after they accounted for West Indies in their opening match on a slow surface in Delhi. There should be more pace in Mohali, which ought to suit an attack led by Steyn and Morne Morkel.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)
Netherlands LLLLW
South Africa WWWLL

Watch out for...

Tom Cooper was the one batsman who stood up against the pace of Roach on Monday. Although he was born and raised in Australia, Cooper qualifies to play for the Netherlands because his mother was born in Dutch New Guinea, which is now the Papua region of Indonesia. That European ancestry allowed him to play club cricket in Scotland as a non-overseas player, and it was there that he linked up with the Netherlands coach Peter Drinnen. An aggressive right-hander, Cooper is still trying to forge his first-class career with South Australia, but in the one-day format has been a revelation for the Netherlands, and how he handles quality bowlers like Steyn and Morne Morkel will go a long way to determining if his team can compete in this match.
Another man who is not representing the country of his birth is Imran Tahir, the Pakistan-born legspinner who has made South Africa home. He was impressive in his ODI debut, the World Cup win over West Indies a week ago, when he collected 4 for 41, and although he has battled a throat infection in the past few days he is expected to be fit to play. This tournament has been a long time coming for Tahir, who at 31 has been on the books at 16 different first-class sides throughout his career, from Pakistan to England to South Africa. Expect him to make the most of his opportunity.

Team news

There were a few gaps in the Dutch performance against West Indies, but the question is whether any of their backup players will add more to the side than if they were to again use the same starting XI.
Netherlands (possible) 1 Alexei Kervezee, 2 Wesley Barresi (wk), 3 Tom Cooper, 4 Ryan ten Doeschate, 5 Bas Zuiderent, 6 Tom de Grooth, 7 Peter Borren (capt), 8 Mudassar Bukhari, 9 Pieter Seelaar, 10 Bernard Loots, 11 Berend Westdijk.
South Africa had a few minor niggles to contend with during the week - Steyn (side), JP Duminy (back) and Tahir (throat infection) - but all three have recovered and should be available for selection. The main question is whether they will again choose three spinners - Tahir, Johan Botha and Robin Peterson - or opt for some extra pace, most likely from Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
South Africa (possible) 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 AB de Villiers (wk), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Faf du Plessis, 7 Johan Botha, 8 Morne Morkel, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Imran Tahir, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

Pitch and conditions

The Mohali ground is gearing up for its first World Cup match of this tournament, and it could provide a little more pace than some of the other venues.

Stats and trivia

  • Ryan ten Doeschate is 20th on the ICC one-day international batting rankings list. He is the only Associate player in the top 40
  • Imran Tahir's 4 for 41 against West Indies was the fourth-best debut figures by a South African bowler on ODI debut, behind Allan Donald, Vernon Philander and Shaun Pollock
  • The Mohali ground has hosted one previous World Cup match, in 1996 when Australia beat West Indies by five runs in the semi-final
  • Quotes

    "We are expecting a lot more pace and bounce from the wicket than was the case in Delhi. Conditions will be very different because it's a day match and dew will not play a role."
    Vincent Barnes, the South Africa assistant coach
    "We certainly have more potential than what we showed against them [West Indies]."
    Peter Borren, the Netherlands captain

    Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo