Team India will face Netherlands in the last league match of the ODI World Cup 2023 on Sunday. The Rohit Sharma-led team is yet to be defeated in the tournament and will finish the league stage as the table toppers.
The IND vs NED fixture will be played at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru from 2 PM IST onwards.
India have already qualified for the semifinals while the eliminated Netherlands are on their way home, and this situation casts a perception of insignificance on their fixture.
But in reality, there are no academic-natured matches in a World Cup, where teams constantly try to better their best in the quest for ultimate glory.
India are no different as they look to maintain the momentum while ticking off a few team goals against the Netherlands, hence a large-scale change to the hosts’ playing eleven looks unlikely at this stage.
India’s dominant eight-match winning streak in the World Cup has a lot to do with Rohit Sharma adapting brilliantly to his dual role of team captain and opener, reckoned head coach Rahul Dravid on Saturday.
“Rohit has certainly been a leader. I think he’s led by example both on and off the field,” said Dravid during a pre-match press conference.
Turning to the Dutch camp, they will be a happy bunch to give at least a few rough moments to this red-hot Indian side.
They have some capable bowlers in Logan Van Beek, Bas de Leede and Paul van Meekeren but on an often-smooth Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch they will be hard-pressed to stop a strong Indian batting establishment.
Their top-order batters like Teja Nidamanuru, Max O’Dowd and Wesley Barresi have struggled for runs in this tournament and tackling well-oiled Indian bowlers could prove too hot a task for them.
The Netherlands have given a good account of themselves in the World Cup and their coach Ryan Cook on Saturday hoped that some of the players might have evoked interest among the IPL franchises ahead of this year’s auction.
Netherlands are 10th on the points table with four points but they have scored memorable wins over semi-finalists South Africa and Bangladesh in the tournament.
The player auction ahead of the IPL 2024 will be held in Dubai on December 19, and Cook said being part of the league will be a huge step-up for his players.
“IPL would be a great experience for our players and that would be sort of the next level. But even just any of the other leagues as well would be welcomed from the players’ point of view – the experience that they can gain in that space,” said Cook during his pre-match press meet.
The Dutch coach was excited to take on India and he expected India to come hard at his team.
“They’re playing really good cricket at the moment. They’ve won all the matches pretty convincingly. I don’t see them taking their foot off the pedal in any way going into the semifinals and into the finals. We would be showing them the same courtesy as well.”
‘So, we have great respect for India and the players within there. I’m sure that they will show the same respect to us and play a great game of cricket. It’ll be a great occasion on Diwali at the Chinnaswamy,” he added.