India vs The Netherlands: As big as it gets for the Dutch
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By the time the Indian team began entering the capital in batches — after a five-wicket win over Ireland in Bangalore — The Netherlands were already preparing at the Air Force grounds in Palam. The recently conquered Irish may have narrowly succumbed on Sunday night, but make no mistake about the fact that India will have another stern test against the Dutch on Wednesday.
The Netherlands trained hard with the hope of putting on a show that would give a good account of themselves, and boost the image of Associate Nations — to which the Irish have generously contributed with an unlikely three-wicket win over England last week. After all, their biggest night in terms of atmosphere at a cricket stadium — something their footballing equivalents will be quite used to — lies ahead when they take on India at the Ferozeshah Kotla in a day/night encounter.
Although the Netherlands also ran England close in their World Cup opener, but they were unimpressive against both the West Indies and South Africa — both over 200-run defeats. After the game against England, the Dutch realised that even a little bit of success — that came due to Ryan ten Doeschate's century — can make them stars overnight, both back home and in India. While Peter Borren and Co have experienced playing in front of a full-house at the Lord's, this will be their first tryst with the bustling wall of sound associated with cricket's spiritual home.
"There were a lot of fans at Lord's when we beat England in the World Twenty20 opener in 2009, but I believe the atmosphere on Wednesday, when we play India, will be something we haven't experienced before. There was a full house at Lord's that day but it will be different with a full house in Delhi," Peter Borren, The Netherlands, skipper says, bracing himself for the occasion. Understandably they kept a close watch on the India-Ireland encounter. Two phases of the match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium gave the Dutch reason for hope. The 113-run partnership between Niall O'Brien and William Porterfield after Zaheer Khan struck twice early was heartening for the Dutch, and equally encouraging was that the Irish had the Indian batting line-up in a spot of bother at 100 for four.
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