T20 World Cup: India look to maintain intensity against Netherlands

Rohit Sharma's team out to carry momentum from win over Pakistan into Sydney clash on Thursday

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India will be hoping for a more sedate outing against the Netherlands at the T20 World Cup on Thursday, having clinched their tournament opener against Pakistan after a cliffhanger in Melbourne.

Virat Kohli's unbeaten 82 snatched victory from the jaws of near certain defeat against their rivals, giving Rohit Sharma's team the perfect boost at the start of the tournament. It also means their toughest assignment is out of the way and India can focus on just cricket again.

While India will be breathing easier, bowling coach Paras Mhambrey said there will be no drop in intensity against the Dutch in Sydney.

"We knew the hype around it [the Pakistan match]. We knew it's always going to be a high-intensity and big clash," he said on Wednesday.

"Having such games done and dusted in the first phase itself, it's good. Had it been the third or fourth game, it could have some effect on the following games. Having this game out of our group, it's good."

While the Netherlands are not expected to present India with as many problems as Pakistan did, Mhambrey said no team can be taken lightly in the tournament. There have already been two washouts, while Ireland stunned England on Wednesday.

"Every game from here is important," Mhambrey said. "Every team that's part of the tournament has worked its way up, has done something good and that's the reason they are here, and we take it like that."

Kohli stole the show with his breathtaking innings, but left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh was one of the main architects of the win. His 3-32 included the prized wickets of Pakistan captain Babar Azam and their batting lynchpin Mohammad Rizwan.

Mhambrey was impressed by the left-arm seamer's ability to cope with the pressure of bowling in the power-play and death overs.

"The composure he's shown, the clarity of thought process that he's shown, he's a great kid," Mhambrey said.

"His ability to handle pressure is phenomenal and I am not really surprised the way he has bowled in the first game. We have a lot of confidence in him, and he has a good future for us."

India are unlikely to rest their key players for Thursday. However, Axar Patel will struggle to retain his spot in the XI after a poor game against Pakistan, where he was smashed for 21 runs in one over and got run out early in the chase. Batting all-rounder Deepak Hooda could come in in his place, with left-handed Rishabh Pant another option.

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Updated: October 26, 2022, 12:56 PM
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