Big picture: Will India give the fringe players game time?
They’ve been occasionally tested, but otherwise, India’s World Cup run has been nothing short of magical. Now on the day of the auspicious Indian festival of Diwali, they have a chance to gift their fans another dose of entertainment, and even though we know that anything can happen in sport, a defeat for the hosts is extremely unlikely.
That’s because India have been absolutely dominant during their 8-0 run at this World Cup. Coming into their final league game, they face the least-fancied team of the tournament, Netherlands, even if they have performed better than expected. With a semi-final against New Zealand on Wednesday their next big game, Sunday also offers India a chance to rest key personnel should there be a need for it.
According to India head coach Rahul Dravid’s press conference, India are not looking at “tactical” changes, but they may yet be tempted to give some game time to the likes of Prasidh Krishna, who is playing his first World Cup, or R Ashwin, who hasn’t played since the first game against Australia last month.
India: WWWWW (last five completed ODIs, most recent first)
In the spotlight: Shubman Gill and Bas de Leede
Team news: Bumrah to rest?
Dravid said the team will not “experiment” tactically, but the odd change cannot be ruled out.
India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 KL Rahul, 6 Suryakumar Yadav, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Kuldeep Yadav / R Ashwin, 9 Jasprit Bumrah / Prasidh Krishna, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Mohammed Siraj
Netherlands should field the same side from the England defeat.
Netherlands (probable): 1 Max O’Dowd / Vikramjit Singh, 2 Wesley Barresi, 3 Colin Ackermann, 4 Sybrand Engelbrecht, 5 Scott Edwards (capt), 6 Bas de Leede, 7 Teja Nidamanuru, 8 Logan van Beek, 9 Roelof van der Merwe, 10 Aryan Dutt, 11 Paul van Meekeren
Pitch and conditions: Big score galore
Runs, runs and more runs shall be the theme at the last World Cup game scheduled for the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru. Australia scored 367 against Pakistan here while New Zealand thumped 401. If India bat first, their aim will be for a score in that region.
Stats and trivia: India chasing history
- India and Netherlands have played each other twice in World Cups previously (2003 and 2011). In 2003, Bas’ father Tim de Leede was the Player of the Match.
- Roelof van der Merwe is the only Netherlands bowler who has previously bowled to any of the Indian batters (Kohli and Rohit) in ODI cricket.
- India’s 8-0 streak at this World Cup is the third-best streak in this tournament, behind only the 11 consecutive wins achieved by Australia in 2003 and 2007.
- Fifteen years ago, Sybrand Engelbrecht played for South Africa against Kohli and Jadeja in an Under-19 World Cup final in Kuala Lumpur.
- No Dutch batter has reached a century at this World Cup.
“We had a balance. We’ve structured the whole thing around certain things. But when that hasn’t happened, we’ve had the ability, the skill, and the mental fortitude to be able to bounce back, and to be able to still compete and do really well. So yeah, I think credit to the guys, credit to, like I said, I think even the NCA for all the work that they do.”
Head coach Rahul Dravid on how India adapted following Hardik Pandya’s injury mid-tournament
Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx