New Zealand Eye Another Dominant Show

Update: 2023-10-09 06:08 GMT
New Zealand players at a practice session in Hyderabad.

New Zealand, the 2019 World Cup runners-up, will look to extend their dominant run when they take on The Netherlands at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here on Monday.

The Black Caps began their World Cup campaign with a stunning nine-wicket victory over defending champions England at the world’s biggest stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

New Zealand are not among the favourites to lift the trophy but they showcased their dominance. Devon Conway (152 off 121 balls) and Rachin Ravindra’s (123 off 96 balls) unbeaten centuries have proved their batting prowess in the marquee event’s opener.

Conway and Ravindra apart, the other batters in the line-up also showed promise in their warm-up games earlier. Kiwis can rely on their top seven batters.

In their first warm-up game, Ravindra posted 97, Daryl Mitchell slammed an unbeaten 59 and Mark Chapman smashed 65 not out in just 41 balls to guide their side to victory over Pakistan. In the second warm-up against South Africa, Conway (78), Tom Latham (52) and Glenn Phillips (43) shone with the bat.

Captain Kane Williamson — who recently returned from a knee injury — has also showcased his abilities with scores of 54 and 37 in the warm-ups. However, he retired himself out on both occasions and skipped the opening match to build his fitness. Experienced Williamson will be an added advantage in the Black Caps’ batting line-up. But he is still not fully match-fit to feature against the Dutch. Stand-in skipper Latham, who led the side against England, will continue to lead the side.

The bowling department also had shown encouraging signs in the first league game, which makes New Zealand an all-round, steady team. The Black Caps can keep their faith in their pacers — veteran Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson can make their impact. The latter being the last edition’s highest wicket-taker with 21 wickets.

On the other hand, The Netherlands have a strong batting line-up with the likes of aggressive opening pair Max O’Dowd and Vikramjit Singh, while skipper Scott Edwards, Logan van Beek and Bas de Leede are all solid middle-order performers.

Vikramjit (52) and de Leede (67) smashed half-centuries in the match against Pakistan on Friday at the same venue. The Dutch bowling pack, which restricted Pakistan to 286 despite them having hit more than 300 in their warm-up matches against New Zealand and Australia, will be a challenge for the Kiwis batters on Monday.

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