The final group game of the ICC Cricket World Cup takes place on Sunday when the hosts India finish their first phase of the tournament when they go up against the Netherlands at what is likely to be a packed out Bangalore ground.
India know that whatever happens in this match they will be facing New Zealand in the semi-final on Wednesday while the Netherlands know they really need to find a win in this one if they are going to sneak into the Champions Trophy in 2025.
It is played eight and won eight for India in this competition but they will know the last two wins have largely been irrelevant such is the format of this tournament. A ninth win here will carry little significance too and none of it will count for anything if they don’t win what they hope will be two more matches to come after this one. The one thing all these wins do give them is confidence that they are playing well and can beat anyone in the event.
You wonder what India stand to gain from this match and with only two full days between this one and their semi-final you also wonder just how much intensity they will play with in this one because they will want to be at 100% for the New Zealand showdown later in the week. The one thing you would say is that whoever bats for them in this match could really fill their boots on a tiny ground with an excellent batting wicket.
When the dust settles on this tournament the Netherlands should feel that they have had an excellent campaign. When you put the last few weeks on top of the qualifying competition they have done brilliantly well and showcased the best of themselves and how good they can be, however there will be a tinge of disappointment should they not qualify for the Champions Trophy because that would have been a game changing effort.
The Netherlands have offered so much in this tournament and wins over the established South Africa and Bangladesh tells us that they belong at this level and should be given more exposure to the top rated ODI game. Unfortunately for them, while those two wins were real highlights, when they have been beaten there have been a couple of shellackings in there and that has dented their net run rate enough to mean they will need an unlikely win here to qualify for the Champions Trophy.
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It remains to be seen just how seriously India take this match in terms of their team selection but you would imagine key players such as Jasprit Bumrah and maybe even Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma will be rested ahead of the semi-final.
The Netherlands will probably want to make a change after a heavy beating by England last time out but there is a feeling that they put their best XI out onto the park in that game so it might be a case of go again but play better for them.
Bangalore generally means sixes and you would have to think that if India bat first in this match that is exactly what we are going to see so over 13.5 sixes looks a decent bet to me. There isn’t a complete guarantee that we’ll need India to cover the majority of this line on their own. The Netherlands have just walloped England for six sixes in the last game and this ground is so small that I’d be surprised if the Netherlands don’t contribute to the total.
This is the home ground of Virat Kohli in the Indian Premier League so he’ll know how to go big here and the rest of the Indian batters all look in good touch. There is also the chance that Suryakumar Yadav goes up the order to get some time in the middle and that could create some carnage too. There is nothing on this game in terms of what it means to India but the Netherlands have to win to reach the Champions Trophy. They’ll need to hit big to do that so I like the over.
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