T20 World Cup 2022 continues. After India captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and chose to bat first, the Men in Blue posted a formidable score of 179/2 in 20 overs, thanks to sensational batting from Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Suryakumar Yadav.
Chasing the target of 180, the Dutch could only manage 123 runs on the board as India got over the line.
The win sees India go top of Group 2 with four points out of two games. On the other hand, the Netherlands have yet to secure their first points on the board as they fall consecutively to Bangladesh and India.
KL Rahul's Struggle
If there is one Indian batsman who is yet to answer his critics, it is KL Rahul. The right-handed batsman has not been able to replicate the form shown in the IPL and tri-series for India.
He had a poor T20 World Cup last year and a poor Asia Cup this year, and his poor form in continental tournaments has shown in this year's T20 World Cup.
In the first game against Pakistan, the Lucknow opener scored only four runs before falling to Naseem Shah. In the game against the Dutch, he was trapped on the crease as he couldn't execute the pull shot and went back for just nine runs.
Although the middle order of the Men in Blue is performing well, they cannot expect to win the tournament by relying on just one phase of their batting order all the time.
Most importantly, you saw what happened with England against Ireland because of the low DLS scoring rate. The initial struggles can prove disastrous in rain-affected conditions. Therefore, India must start strong in future games to avoid any problems in the rest of the Super 12 games.
Captain's Knock By Rohit Sharma
Like Rahul, Sharma also had questions about his batting form after his poor display against Pakistan in the first match. However, he came out roaring against the Netherlands.
The Indian skipper scored 52 off 39 balls to set the stage for a grand finish in the Indian batting innings. Although he was hitting boundaries, he struggled to find cheap runs as the Dutch bowlers bowled well in the powerplay overs.
However, he started to play his shots after the 10th over. This is his 29th T20i fifty, which adds adjectives to his incredible T20 career.
Virat Kohli Is Firing Again
Is the old Kohli well and truly back? It has been three years since the Indian fans have wanted their superstar to show consistency, and it looks like the bad phase of his career is finally over.
Although India got knocked out of the Asia Cup after defeats against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, they had one positive: the right-hander's form.
He scored his first-ever T20i century against Afghanistan, which was his first international century in three years. That innings has taken a lot of pressure off his shoulders. Now, he is starting to enjoy his batting again.
He played what Sharma considers the best T20 knock played by an Indian ever against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup opener. He followed it up with another half-century against the Netherlands in his second game.
The former Indian captain scored 62 runs off 44 balls, with three fours and two sixes. Kohil struggled in the first few overs, just like his knock against Pakistan. However, he changed gears after the dismissal of Sharma.
More importantly, he got a great partner in Yadav, who was the more aggressive batsman in their partnership. The 33-year-old played smart cricket by giving his partner the strike at almost every opportunity.
As Yadav was hitting boundaries consistently, it took off the pressure from Kohli, and he started expressing himself as well in the last five overs. If the Bangalore batsman keeps up this form, it is bad news for the rest of the teams.
Suryakumar Yadav's Onslaught
Is Yadav the best T20 batsman in the world right now? Well, the ICC rankings say Muhammad Rizwan, but the way he is playing, you can certainly make the case that he is.
The right-handed batsman appeared to be in good touch against Pakistan before falling on a short ball to fast bowler Haris Rauf.
However, he was at his devastating best against the Netherlands. As Kohli played the anchor role, Yadav became the slogger and played shots across almost every part of the ground.
It was only fitting that he brought up his half-century with a six on the last ball of the innings. He scored 51 off 25 balls with a strike rate of 204. If he maintains this kind of form throughout the T20 World Cup, he will surely go ahead of Muhammad Rizwan in the ICC T20 batsman rankings.
Van Meekeren Makes History
If there is one silver lining for the Netherlands in this game, it is that Paul van Meekeren has a record to his name after this match. The right-arm fast bowler became the highest wicket-taker for the Men in Orange in the T20is with 59 wickets.
The 29-year-old got rid of Rahul in the third over to go above Pieter Seelar in the Netherlands' wicket-taking list. However, the Men in Orange have to do a lot more, especially in the death overs, to cause any upset in their remaining Super 12 games.
Redemption For Axar Patel
Another player who didn't have the best of nights against Pakistan was Axar Patel. The left-arm spinner only bowled one over against the 2009 champions and was dispatched for 21 runs.
However, it looked like the Sydney Cricket Ground offered more help to the spinners, which is why he and Ravichandran Ashwin dominated the proceedings. Both the spinners conceded only 39 runs off their eight overs and took two wickets each.
Patel's performance was much more important because he took the all-important wicket of Max O'Dowd.