‘Head to the ball, play straight and play late’: Netherlands star batter Max O’Dowd reveals his plans against India

Dutch batter Max O’Dowd, who played a 53-ball 71 against Sri Lanka in team’s last game, has revealed his plans for India game. India and Netherlands are facing each other in their T20 World Cup match on Thursday at Sydney Cricket Ground. Max has shared a note on his Twitter handle which mentioned- “Head to the ball, play straight and play late.”

In Netherland’s first-round match at Simons Stadium in Geelong, Max O’Dowd’s unbeaten 71 -run knock had gone in vain as Sri Lanka won by 16 runs. With the win, Sri Lanka became the first team from Group A to enter the Super 12s of T20 World Cup.

O’Dowd’s knock kept Netherlands in the hunt for 163 runs, but he lacked support from other batters. Wanindu Hasaranga picked three wickets, while Maheesh Theekshana claimed two. Earlier, Blistering knock of 79 runs from Kusal Mendis guided Sri Lanka to 162 for 6. For Netherlands, Bas de Leede and Paul van Meekeren claimed two wickets apiece.

For India, the primary aim will be to guard against complacency as there would always be a chance of going off the boil after winning an emotionally exhausting high-intensity game. The contest will be a chance for three of the top four batters — skipper Rohit Sharma, inconsistent KL Rahul and dangerous Suryakumar Yadav — to get some runs under their belt before the next big game against South Africa, the result of which will determine the group standings.

The Netherlands’ attack comprises Fred Klaassen, Bad de Leede, Tim Pringle and former Proteas left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe, who is the only player in the rival line up to have played in IPL in the past.

The Netherlands bowling attack appeared decent in the League stage as well as in the Super 12 game against Bangladesh at Hobart, which is colder, windier and offers pitches that assist bowlers.

However it will be a different ball game on Thursday as they will have to contend with a high-quality batting line-up on an SCG track which will aid stroke-making.

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