Time: May 29, 6:30 AM IST
Venue: Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
Bay Oval has a reputation for producing high-scoring games. New Zealand chased down 297 runs against India in 2020, thanks to Henry Nicholls’ 80 off 103.
Above all, the weather seems pleasant. There will be short episodes of rain, but they are unlikely to affect the number of overs.
Probable XI for New Zealand: Tom Latham (C), Martin Guptill, Will Young, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Michael Bracewell (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner/Bracewell
Probable XI for Netherlands: Stephan Myburgh, Max O’Dowd, Vikramjit Singh, Scott Edwards (wk), Bas de Leede, Pieter Seelar (c), Boris Gorlee, Shariz Ahmad, Logan van Beek, Fred Klassen, Philippe Boissevain, Ryan Klein
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Ross Taylor, New Zealand’s highest run-scorer in ODIs, will finish his final international assignment. In the recently concluded List A series in New Zealand, his last five scores read 45, 111, 50*, 59, and 5.
Bas de Leede had scores of 47* off 56 and 74 off 91 and bowling figures of 2 for 56 and 1 for 2 in the warm-up games. The youngster is yet to translate his talent into performance at the international level, but his recent form and all-round skills make him a player to watch out for in the series.
It will be an uphill task for the Netherlands bowlers to make early inroads. The experienced duo of Tom Latham and Martin Guptill, who have nearly 9,000 ODI runs between them, will be itching to dominate the inexperienced bowling attack.
Matt Henry is the only Kiwi bowler in the top 10 list of ICC ODI Rankings. He has been in great form this year, having taken 20 wickets in his last 10 competitive innings. More importantly, he has polished his battings skills. He scored a brisk 44 off 22 in the New Zealand T20 League earlier this year.
Pieter Seelar needs only four wickets to become the highest wicket-taker for Netherlands in the format. He has taken 54 wickets at 32, maintaining an economy of 4.5. There’s more to his talents, though. He provides valuable fantasy points with his bat in the middle order. He has two fifties to his name.
Vikramjit Singh is likely to make his ODI debut. He played an instrumental knock of 45 off 64 in the first warm-up game, laying a strong foundation for the middle-order to exploit.
The ever-improving and multi-talented Kyle Jamieson will be in action. In a mere 27 international games, he has managed 75 to pick wickets.
In contemporary cricket, Stephan Myburgh is the highest run-scorer for Netherlands in ODIs. He has managed 448 runs at 27, including three fifties.
Michael Bracewell was in stunning form in the warm-up games. He complemented his hundred with a match-winning score of 81. Another international debut is on the cards.
New Zealand and Netherlands have locked horns only once, that is, during the 1996 World Cup. New Zealand registered a comprehensive win, defending a mammoth total of 307 runs.
Both teams have played only a handful of ODIs since the pandemic. While New Zealand won all three against Bangladesh, Netherlands beat Afghanistan 2-1 in 2021.
All in all, New Zealand look superior in terms of both team balance and experience. However, there’s an interesting fact to be noted: Netherlands beat Canada back in 2014 in what was the first-ever ODI at Bay Oval.