India and the Netherlands will play one other in a T20 international match for the first time on Friday. India will enter as the undisputed favourites, but they will also be the first to warn of the threat posed by Scott Edwards’ team.
The only Associates in the Super 12s are Netherlands. Their players now want to enjoy playing alongside the big boys, a long-cherished desire, having worked hard to win their place. They are in a group with South Africa, India, and Pakistan, and the Dutch want to make sure they do extra effort to cause an upset.
The punchline has always been that playing superior teams will improve them. And the Netherlands have demonstrated that this year: before travelling to Australia, they played ODI series in 2022 against England, New Zealand, Pakistan, the West Indies, and Afghanistan, as well as twin T20I matches against New Zealand.
With that context, Netherlands thought they could defeat Bangladesh in their first Super 12 game on Monday. If not for a few unnecessary run-outs, which led to the eventual nine-run loss, they almost succeeded in achieving that goal. After a thrilling victory against Pakistan, Netherlands is aware that India is on another level and at an all-time high. While their bowlers have carried out the strategies in every game, Max O’Dowd has been the Netherlands’ one-man batting force. Vikramjit Singh, Colin Ackermann, Tom Cooper, and Edwards must stand by him.
Paul van Meerkeren, the Netherlands’ strike bowler, claimed that such a mindset could encourage athletes to set higher standards for themselves. India would want to be on high alert given their history of upsetting dominant teams at T20 World Cups, including England in 2009 and 2014.
Rohit Sharma has been a strong, confident, and courageous skipper. He is one of the top tacticians in the game and has a strong capacity for quick thinking. But Rohit the hitter has recently struggled, scoring just 64 runs in his previous five T20Is, including two ducks, at a strike rate of 103.
His last fifty came in a losing effort against Sri Lanka seven matches ago during the Asia Cup. Rohit is aware that he must lead with the bat and be reliable.