Zimbabwe hosts the Netherlands in three-match ODI series, starting Tuesday, March 21st at the Harare Sports Club, Zimbabwe. It is the first time that the Netherlands team will be touring Zimbabwe for a bilateral series but it promises to be an exciting contest courtesy of the CWC Super League.
The hosts are not messing about as they’ve announced a full-strength squad with the likes of returning superstars like the enigmatic Sean Williams. With a squad brimming with quality, this is Zimbabwe’s best chance to prepare for the upcoming World Cup Qualifier in June. We can surely expect them to name their strongest side for the 1st ODI.
The Dutch have risen in stature of late. Who can forget their memorable win against the mighty South Africa in the T20 World Cup held in Australia last year? In fact, they even went on to qualify for the Super 12s during that campaign. The top bookmakers in India have some fancy odds for the series.
This will be Scott Edwards’ first time leading the side in a bilateral away tour since replacing Pieter Seelaar as the skipper. However, he will indeed feel the absence of left-arm spinner Tim Pringle and seam all-rounder Logan van Beek.
Boosted by the return of their veteran talisman Sikandar Raza, Zimbabwe have a genuine match-winner in their ranks. However, this squad is full of players who can change the game in an instant. Vital cogs like Ryan Burl, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani, and the big-hitting Sean Williams are all returning to the squad.
Arguably, this looks like one of their strongest sides ever in recent times. It is important to note, however, that despite having a stronger team on paper, these players might need to catch up and the Dutch will definitely look to test them early on.
They will surely go with the strongest XI.
Predicted Lineup: Craig Ervine (c), Innocent Kaia, Gary Ballance, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams, Wesley Madhevere, Ryan Burl, Tadiwanashe Marumani (wk), Brandon Mavuta, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava.
Despite having punched well above their weight during last year’s T20 World Cup in Australia, the Netherlands have their work cut out for them this time. The visitors will be without some vital first-choice players; Tim Pringle and Logan van Beek will both be absent from this tour. It’ll be interesting to see how Scott Edwards will use the available players. However, all are not bleak for him as Roelof van der Merwe, Colin Ackermann, Tom Cooper, Fred Klaassen, and Paul van Meekeren will join the side.
The Dutch will surely go with their best XI in the first ODI.
Predicted Lineup: Max O’Dowd, Vikram Singh, Tom Cooper, Colin Ackermann, Scott Edwards (c&wk), Roelof van der Merwe, Musa Nadeem Ahmad, Teja Nidamanuru, Shariz Ahmad, Paul van Meekeren, Brandon Glover.
The home side has an advantage over the Netherlands with their superior lineup in both departments. We expect Zimbabwe to seal a comfortable victory in the 1st ODI against The Netherlands.