Sri Lanka, bruised and battered, seeks a pivotal moment in their journey.

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Sri Lanka, bruised and battered, seeks a pivotal moment in their journey.

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In the wake of their victory against South Africa in Dharamsala, Netherlands’ captain, Scott Edwards, proudly endorsed ‘total cricket’ – a tactical concept borrowed from 1970s Dutch football. This approach allows players to assume various roles, akin to a fluid, synchronized system. Edwards drew parallels with cricket when his No. 8 and No. 9 batters, Roelof van der Merwe and Aryan Dutt, stepped up to salvage their innings, reshaping the game’s trajectory.

Sri Lanka, too, may require ‘total cricket.’ Their World Cup campaign has featured flashes of brilliance but hasn’t translated into points. Inconsistency plagues them, as their bowling unit faltered in Delhi and Hyderabad, and their batting collapsed from advantageous positions in Lucknow.

A little over a month ago, Sri Lanka enjoyed a 13-game winning streak in ODIs, second only to Australia’s 21 in 2003. However, their fortunes have reversed dramatically, with just one win in their last six matches. Adding to their troubles is the formidable form and mindset of the Netherlands, previously perceived as outsiders and non-elite. Sri Lanka finds themselves in dire need of a turning point, while Netherlands brings the adage, ‘any team can beat any other team on their day,’ to life.

What was expected to be an unremarkable match on Saturday has evolved into a high-stakes encounter for both teams. Sri Lanka seeks a turning point, while the Netherlands eyes an opportunity to climb the table.

Match Details

When: Netherlands vs. Sri Lanka, October 21, 10.30 AM Local time

Where: Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow

Weather: The game is set to take place in sunny and pleasant conditions with temperatures ranging from the late 20s to early 30s in degrees Celsius. In the two World Cup games at this venue, pacers have outperformed spinners, taking 17 wickets compared to 13. In the six ODIs played here, teams batting first and chasing have each won three times. However, these stats might not hold significance for Saturday’s fixture, as it marks the venue’s first day game, eliminating the impact of dew and the toss. According to Netherlands’ Teja Nidamanuru, the pitch is expected to have more pace and carry.

Team News

Netherlands: The XI that secured a remarkable win in Dharamsala is likely to remain unchanged, barring any injuries or niggles.

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews and Dushmantha Chameera are flying in as traveling reserves but cannot play unless one of the existing 15 squad members is officially replaced. Sri Lanka may introduce Kasun Rajitha to bolster their struggling bowling department.

Tactics & Strategy:

Netherlands: To increase their chances of defeating Sri Lanka, Netherlands might opt to set a target rather than chase. Recent evidence suggests that they struggled while chasing against Sri Lanka in the World Cup qualifiers.

Credit By Photo: wisden.com

Probable XI – Netherlands: Vikramjit Singh, Max O’Dowd, Colin Ackermann, Bas de Leede, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Teja Nidamanuru, Scott Edwards (c & wk), Logan van Beek, Roelof van der Merwe, Aryan Dutt, Paul van Meekeren

Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s strength lies in their middle-overs batting, featuring players like Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, and Charith Asalanka, who boast impressive averages in that phase.

Credit By Photo: cricketaddictor.com

Probable XI – Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dunith Wellalage, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Lahiru Kumara/Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madushanka

Notable Facts

  • Scott Edwards boasts an impressive average of 62.58 against spin in ODIs.
  • Maheesh Theekshana has seven wickets in two World Cup matches against Netherlands and a commendable economy rate of 4.59 in the middle overs (11-40) in ODIs this year.
  • In 2023, Vikramjit Singh and Max O’Dowd have accumulated 781 runs in 16 innings as openers, with an average of 48.81.
  • Since January 2022, Sri Lanka opener Pathum Nissanka has scored 1310 runs at an average of 46.78, outperforming all other Sri Lankan batters in this format during the same period.

Quotable

“I think If we assess those two games that we played against Sri Lanka [in World Cup qualifiers], it’s our batting department that probably didn’t live up to the expectation that we needed to. I think in the final we played, we kept them down to a good score, we could have chased that, but obviously their spin through the middle was something that troubled us… but that’s something that we’ve looked into and we’ve addressed and we’ve worked extremely hard on playing spin and being able to rotate strike through the middle a little bit better.” – Teja Nidamanuru.

Reference

https://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/128159/bruised-and-battered-sri-lanka-hunt-for-a-turning-point-cricbuzzcom

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/icc-cricket-world-cup-qualifier-2023-1377745/netherlands-vs-sri-lanka

https://www.indiatoday.in/sports/cricket/story/netherlands-vs-sri-lanka-teja-nidamanuru

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