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24th Match (D/N), Delhi, October 25, 2023, ICC Cricket World Cup
(21/50 ov, T:400) 90

Australia won by 309 runs

Player Of The Match
106 (44)
Cricinfo's MVP
152.26 ptsImpact List

Netherlands out to claim another scalp as Australia look to build momentum

Australia looks set to welcome back Travis Head from injury while the Netherlands need some runs from their top-order

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm

Big picture: The shared history of Australia and Netherlands

There has long been a connection between Netherlands and Australian cricket. It is perhaps not quite as strong as South Africa's connection to the current Dutch team. But their captain Scott Edwards is an Australian citizen, having grown up in Melbourne and played second XI cricket for Victoria. He has introduced a Netherlands team song that is a shameless rebrand of the song of his favourite Australian Football League club Richmond. From Edwards to former Dutch coach Ryan Campbell, to Tom Cooper, Timm van der Gugten, Michael Swart and Dirk Nannes, among others, plenty of Australian domestic players have had an impact on Netherlands cricket.
But there will be no love lost in Delhi on Wednesday. Netherlands are gunning for another big scalp, having already taken down South Africa and potentially missed an opportunity against Sri Lanka. Australia are looking to continue their momentum. They will not be taking the Netherlands lightly, but they would love a statement win having been tested at times against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
For all the links between to the two nations as far as players and coaches are concerned, Australia and Netherlands have only met twice in ODI cricket. Both matches were at World Cups, in 2003 and 2007, and Australia were ruthless, claiming big wins while tinkering with their line-up. In fact, nobody could beat them in either of those tournaments.
These two sides did meet in a rain-affected warm-up game in Thiruvananthapuram prior to this World Cup. Mitchell Starc claimed a hat-trick in a game Australia did not take seriously at all. Steven Smith and Josh Inglis opened the batting with Alex Carey at three and Mitchell Marsh did not bat but instead opened the bowling while Marnus Labuschagne also bowled four overs and picked up the wicket of Edwards.
Australia won't take this game as lightly with coach Andrew McDonald confirming on Monday that they would not be resting any of their players. They know the Dutch will be well planned and the dual spin threat of Aryan Dutt in the powerplay against possibly two left-handed openers in David Warner and Travis Head if he is passed fit, plus Roelof van der Merwe against Australia's vulnerable middle-order could certainly cause problems. Netherlands' biggest challenge will be getting top-order runs. But Australia's new-ball bowlers have not taken a powerplay wicket in the last three games, and Delhi has been an excellent batting strip.

Form guide

Australia WWLLW (last five ODIs, most recent first)
Netherlands LWLLL

In the spotlight: Smith and O'Dowd

Steven Smith was considered vital to Australia's chances in this World Cup given his experience in India and his prowess against spin. But Australia's long-time No. 3, who is set to play his 150th ODI against Netherlands, is battling for form in ODI cricket this year and now may well find himself pushed to No.4 with the return of Head. Smith is averaging just 23.22 in ODIs this year from nine innings, including three ducks, and striking at just 81.64. His move to No. 4 may not help his search to find some form. He has only batted there once since the 2019 World Cup and that was against Pakistan in the last match, having slid one spot due to the promotion of Glenn Maxwell because of the game situation. He has batted No. 3 in his previous 29 ODI innings. He averages just 34.31 across 24 career innings at No. 4 compared to 52.60 at No. 3. His strike-rate is slightly higher at No. 4, but nonetheless, it is not his favoured spot.
In a World Cup where the openers have dominated across the board to this point, Netherlands' top two have simply not got going. Max O'Dowd has really struggled, making just 55 runs in four innings at a strike-rate of just 57.89. He has battled to get off strike facing 72 dot balls out of 95 in total, with 38 of his 55 runs coming in boundaries and just 11 singles. He did not play any List A cricket between the World Cup qualifiers in July and the World Cup itself, with his only match practice coming in Netherlands club cricket, some of which was played on artificial pitches. It is a huge ask to jump from that to facing some of the incredible new ball pairings he has so far this tournament and the task only gets tougher against Starc and Josh Hazlewood on Wednesday. But the Netherlands need some runs from their openers if they are to put pressure on Australia.

Team news: Will Head play?

Head arrived in Delhi on Saturday having been at home in Adelaide for Australia's first four matches of the tournament, nursing his broken hand. He was optimistic he could play on Wednesday after a net session on Saturday. He faced bowlers for the first time on Monday and got through the session. If he plays he is set to open alongside Warner which will break up the in-form Warner-Marsh pairing. Labuschagne would be the likely batter to make way.
Australia (probable): 1 David Warner, 2 Travis Head, 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Josh Inglis (wk), 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Marcus Stoinis, 8 Pat Cummins (capt), 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Josh Hazlewood, 11 Adam Zampa
The Netherlands look set to stick with the same combination that beat South Africa and tested Sri Lanka.
Netherlands (probable): 1 Vikramjit Singh, 2 Max O'Dowd, 3 Colin Ackermann, 4 Bas de Leede, 5 Teja Nidamanuru, 6 Scott Edwards (capt & wk), 7 Sybrand Engelbrecht, 8 Roelof van der Merwe, 9 Logan van Beek, 10 Aryan Dutt, 11 Paul van Meekeren

Pitch and conditions: Another sweltering day

The three games in Delhi thus far in this World Cup have produced two very different results, although the common thread is that the side batting first has won easily. South Africa piled up 428 against Sri Lanka and won although Sri Lanka made 326 in reply. India galloped to their 273-run against Afghanistan, who then defended 286 easily against England on the back of a masterful bowling performance by their spinners. It will be warm in Delhi and the air quality will be poor.

Stats and trivia: Starc on the prowl

  • Starc (55) needs two wickets to go past Lasith Malinga (56) to third all-time on the ODI World Cup wicket-takers list. Glenn McGrath leads with 71 and Muttiah Muralidaran is second with 68.
  • Australia are the only team to have gone wicketless three times in the first powerplay in this World Cup.
  • Only Bangladesh (38.90%) have had a higher percentage of runs scored by Nos. 5,6 and 7 in this World Cup than the Netherlands (35.82%)

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
AUS 100%
100%50%100%AUS InningsNED Innings

Over 21 • NED 90/10

Aryan Dutt lbw b Zampa 1 (8b 0x4 0x6 9m) SR: 12.5
Paul van Meekeren st †Inglis b Zampa 0 (1b 0x4 0x6 2m) SR: 0
Australia won by 309 runs
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