India play Dutch in World Cup warm-up game

Published: Wednesday, March 7, 2007, 1:03 [IST]
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Montego Bay (Jamaica):On paper it may look like an uneven competition, but India cannot take the Netherlands lightly in the warm-up game at Trelawny stadium here on Tuesday as they had a torrid time against the minnows in South Africa four years ago.

The 1983 champions were given a scare in a group tie by the same opponets in 2003 World Cup and the reputation of the Rahul Dravid-led side, which boast of a fine blend of experience and youth, will be seriously dainted if the Netherlands repeat the fine show they put up four year's ago.

Though most of the current squad toured the Caribbean last year and they would not need much time to acclimatise in the conditions here, they need to finetune their skills.

However, it remains to be seen whether the team management would want to expose tomorrow a couple of players such as Irfan Pathan and Yuvraj Singh whose match fitness were found wanting in the build-up to the showpiece event.

India will have another practice game against the West Indies on Friday before opening their campaingn with a match against Bangladesh in Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad on March 17.

The confidence level of the team is understandably high having beaten the West Indies and Sri Lanka at home in the build-up to the mega event.

Captain Rahul Dravid sounded confident of India doing well in the tournament.

''We have a pretty good team and we are very confident,'' said Dravid in a press conference on Monday.

''I know that all the other teams will be aiming to play their best cricket but we are very confident that this is going to be a very good tournament for us,'' he said.

Coach Greg Chappell said India were one of three teams that will go into the tournament with a well-balanced unit.

''We will not be relying on any special players because the team is fairly well balanced all round,'' said the former Australia captain.

Key batsman Sachin Tendulkar was confident and raring to go in what could be his last World Cup.

''I am looking forward to having a good tournament. I am hoping that both my batting and bowling will come good.

''I am not under any pressure at this time I feel quite confident and I am ready to go,'' said Tendulkar, who is the most prolific ODI player and highest run getter in the World Cup.


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