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Pakistan and Netherlands go a little way back, when the latter helped the Men in Green reach semi-finals of the last T20 World Cup.
Pakistan World Cup Head-to-Head Record
Pakistan needed Netherlands to beat South Africa to go up in the points table and Scott Edwards’ men did just that.
However, they are now going to face off in the ultimate 50-over showdown at a neutral turf. Which side has a better chance at winning?
So far, Pakistan has won all six ODIs they’ve played against Netherlands. But Edwards’ unit has grown much stronger in recent times.
Players to look out for Pakistan World Cup 2023
here are some players we select to watch out for in Pakistan National Cricket Team.
Shaheen Shah Afridi
Shaheen Shah Afridi has been Pakistan’s strikeforce with the new ball. With Naseem Shah absent in the scene, he has been tasked with even a greater responsibility than before, to give early breakthroughs to the team.
His ability to bring the ball back into the batsmen has often yielded big fruits for the Men in Green.
Afridi was Pakistan’s star bowler in the last edition in 2019, picking 16 wickets in the mega event held in England. This is the most wickets a Pakistan bowler has ever picked in a World Cup.
With ample experience under his belt and freshling coming off the Asia Cup, Afridi is comparatively in a better rhythm than he was back in 2019.
As the pace spearhead of the side, Shaheen has been regularly fishing for openers’ wickets in his opening spell.
While batting, Netherlands will have to be wary of the left-arm pacer, not give away any early wickets to him even if they can’t get many runs in his opening spell.
Logan Van Beek
If there’s one player Netherlands can bank on it’s Logan Van Beek. The 33-year-old has risen to the occasion for his side whenever it has depended on an individual brilliance to save a game.
In 25 ODIs, he has amassed 337 runs and 21 wickets.
There are not many all-rounders in the world who can bowl at a fierce pace as well as smack it big to punish the opposition at death.
Not long ago, Van Beek smacked 30 runs in the super over against West Indies to help his team qualify for the very same tournament, shattering millions of Windies’ hearts in the process.
The veteran player struck a boundary off every delivery against Jason Holder.
Former Indian star Gautum Gambhir feels that Pakistan skipper Babar Azam “can set the World Cup on fire” and we’re here for it.
Being the top-ranked ODI batter in the ICC’s charts for nearly three years, Babar is always the best wicket in the line-up for any bowler in the opposition.
The Pakistan captain usually starts his inning slowly, then goes back in the final overs.
His consistency in the 50-over games in particular has helped his team grab the second spot in the ICC team rankings.
The 28-year-old has 19 tons in 108 ODI games, an astonishing record that not many greats of the game are close to after having played as many games as him.
Currently Babar Azam is struggling to find form, coming off a one-sided loss in Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup. This will be the best time for the 29-year-old skipper to get back into his rhythm before they face Sri Lanka and India, respectively.
He has been under a severe scrutiny back home, hence, a big performance in the team’s opening game of the world cup will shut his critics down, as if his average of 58.16 in ODIs has not already.
Ackermann is the man who Pakistanis were rooting for not too long ago when he helped Babar Azam’s men qualify for the semi-final of the last T20 World Cup.
His 41 not out against South Africa turned out to be a match-winning knock as THe Proteas were unable to chase the 159-run target that Netherlands had set for them in Adelaide.
This was a must-win game for South Africa, but Netherlands had some other plans for them.
Ackermann is the man of big occasion for Scott Edwards, a player who can turn the game around with his bat.
This is the reason he’s hot-favourite to clinch the Man of the Match award on Friday if he plays a blinder on the day to upset the odds and pocket a win against the second-ranked Pakistan.
The pitch at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium has proven to be a good bowling track. However, sides that take some time to settle to get the shine off the new ball have often gone to score big at the ground.
It’s conducive for scoring substantial runs if the batters can show a little patience. This is the typical Pakistan style where their batters take some overs to settle in before going for back-to-back boundaries, hence, this should not be a problem for Babar Azam’s men.
On the flip side, Netherlands will have to see off initial overs of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali, focus on not giving their top-order cheaply.
Pakistan vs Netherlands World Cup 2023 Prediction
Considering their past record against Edwards’ unit and current form, it seems like Pakistan’s game to lose.
Netherlands have come clutch in pressure situations in ICC tournaments before, but Pakistan seems to have their basis well covered to combat the Netherlands.
The Men in Green are firm favourites to win the contest on Friday, unless they plan on living up to their “unpredictable” tag and initiate a collapse in their batting order.
With a win over Netherlands, Babar and his men could grab the important two points and set their sights on the next target - Sri Lanka.
As for Scott Edwards’ side, they will have to play out of their skin in both innings to pull off a miraculous win on Friday. Something they are well known for doing every now and then.