The ICC Cricket World Cup heads back to Delhi on Wednesday when Australia will look to put themselves in a strong position to qualify for the semi-finals when they go up against a determined Netherlands side.
The Netherlands have already shocked South Africa in this tournament and will be eyeing up another enormous scalp but after a slow start to their campaign Australia have recovered the situation and will be looking to push on now.
Two matches into this tournament Australia looked like they would be making their way home much earlier than they would have anticipated. A fairly tame loss to India was followed by a heavier and more concerning one to South Africa but as it turns out they look the two best sides in the competition so perhaps it wasn’t the doom and gloom it was portrayed to be. To their credit, they have come back strong with successive wins.
They are still not in a brilliant position but a win here and a dominant one at that will have them in control of their own destiny thanks to Pakistan being upset by Afghanistan earlier in the week. While the two wins were welcome they weren’t overly convincing and so Australia will be looking for something convincing, one which is preferably by a wide margin to sort their net run rate out and have them looking good ahead of key clashes to come.
Just being at this tournament was a result in itself for the Netherlands but when they arrived they would have wanted to make a positive impression on it. After a couple of competitive outings in defeat they announced themselves on the competition with a win over South Africa. They didn’t need validation for being here but for those who needed something from them to show it that was certainly it. They then ran Sri Lanka close in game four.
The positive for the Netherlands is that they have pulled off a major scalp in this competition without their top four really delivering the goods as a collective unit. They have bowled really well in this tournament on the whole but they might have their work cut out in this match because they are up against a fearsome batting unit when it all comes together. If ever their own top order could come to the party here would be a pretty good time.
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Australia could well have Travis Head available for this match after he has recovered from injury. He has arrived in India and has had a net but hasn’t been completely passed to feature. If he does then Marnus Labuschagne is expected to miss out.
The Netherlands have only made one enforced change throughout the competition and have no reason to alter anything here unless they have had a late injury or illness which they did not declare in the pre-match press conference.
This is not the easiest match to bet on because as you would imagine Australia are incredibly short for this encounter and I don’t expect them to lose but most of the side markets involve the Netherlands or would be impacted by the Netherlands batting first and not making a game of it. There is a fair chance of that but at the same time it wouldn’t take a huge amount for the Dutch to be competitive so I’m keen to find something that limits their involvement.
That comes in the form of Mitchell Marsh to score more than 33.5 runs, something he has done in the last two matches. I’ll forgive him not covering it in the opening two because he was up against decent attacks on a Chennai and Lucknow pitch which doesn’t suit his style. This Delhi one will and the best thing about this match being here is this is the home ground of Marsh in the IPL so he’ll know how to bat here. In his last nine ODI innings Marsh has three 50s and a ton last time out and looked in very good form against Pakistan. There is nothing in this attack to worry him so unless he gets all billy big bollocks and does something reckless I expect Marsh to go beyond 33 runs in this one.
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