Team Pakistan is all set to kick start their tour of the Netherlands, which includes a three-match ODI series, the first of which will be played on August 16. All three games will be played at the same venue, that being Hazelaarweg in Rotterdam. The upcoming series will also be the first-ever bilateral series between the two nations.
Pakistan, on the other hand, has named a strong squad for the ODI series and several members of the side will also be a part of the team for the Asia Cup that will be held later this month. Pakistan comes on the back of an ODI win against West Indies and a drawn Test series against Sri Lanka and are overwhelming favorites to dominate the Netherlands.
After these fixtures, Pakistan will take on England in a seven-match T20I series against England after the Asia Cup. These should give the side enough matches to prepare and understand their combinations before the T20 World Cup slated to be held in Australia.
“We have 11 trump cards. Each of them can be a matchwinner on their day. I have faith in every one of them, whether batters or bowlers. I think the conditions will be similar to England,” Pakistan captain Babar Azam said before the series.
The Babar Azam-led Men in Green are in fine form as they are backed with five wins in a row. They defeated Australia first and went on to defeat West Indies to embark on an ODI winning streak. The Netherlands, on the other hand, last triumphed in an ODI back in June 2021. The series was initially planned for July 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic, however, caused the Dutch government to impose a September ban on all sporting events in the nation. Later, it was decided to move the series to August 2022 by both PCB and KNCB. Pakistan would now look to extend their winning streak as the white-ball games would also help them prepare for the Asia Cup, which begins later this month.
The two teams will be meeting after 19 long years. In their initial World Cup encounter, Pakistan triumphed by eight wickets. The 2002 Champions Trophy was won by The Men in Green by nine wickets. They last squared off in 2003, during the World Cup where Pakistan easily defeated their opponents by 97 runs.
The venue in Rotterdam has hosted 12 ODI games to date. Eight of these games were won by the chasing side. Thus, the captain winning the toss would look to take advantage and would likely opt to bowl first to restrict the opponents to a chaseable total. In comparison to many other venues, the average score when batting first at this pitch is 185, which is a very low total. 236 is the highest score ever chased on this surface, implying that the games in the upcoming series might be low-scoring ones.
The hosts, the Netherlands, will be highly reliant on their captain Edwards to put up strong batting performances. The 25-year-old wicketkeeper-batter has only been a part of 22 ODIs, but those 22 games have been enough for him to define himself as one of the team’s finest batters at the moment.
Predicted Playing XI: Vikramjit Singh, Tom Cooper, Scott Edwards (c & wk), Bas de Leede, Max ODowd, Shariz Ahmed, Logan van Beek, Arnav Jain, Aryan Dutt, Vivian Kingma, Ryan Klein.
Babar is currently rated as the best batter in the ICC Men’s ODI rankings, and he deserves to be there, looking at the record-breaking performances that he has given in the past couple of years. The 27-year-old appears to get better with each series he plays, and that is what will keep Pakistan on the go.
Predicted Playing XI: Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Khushdil Shah, Agha Salman, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahan.
NED vs PAK Head-to-Head:
Played – 03
Netherlands – 00
Pakistan – 03
Pakistan to win the match.
Pakistan 55% chance of winning.
The Netherlands 45% chance of winning.