Dutch toughen India: Dhoni
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said his team had a good workout against the Netherlands and the pressure they faced would stand them in good stead for tougher World Cup challenges ahead.
India laboured to a five-wicket win at New Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium after bowling the Dutch out cheaply for 189, virtually sealing their place in the quarterfinals.
Openers Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar tore into the Dutch bowling, reaching 69 in the eighth over before Sehwag was the first to go, sparking a mini-collapse that reduced India to 99 for four.
But Dhoni said losing wickets meant batsmen lower down the order, including Yuvraj Singh (51 not out) had enjoyed crucial time in the middle ahead of matches against more powerful nations.
It was a almost a carbon copy of the win against Ireland, where India also found themselves in trouble at 100-4 in reply to a modest total of 207, with Yuvraj also hitting a half-century in that game.
"Any side you're playing, if you're 100-4 you are under a bit of pressure, especially if the wickets are slow and low and if you are expected to win easily, so that was a decent win for us," Dhoni said after Wednesday's victory against the Dutch.
"It's a good experience to have because you're all of a sudden in the quarterfinals or against a stronger side," he added.
"You don't want your middle order, your lower middle order, to get exposed. It's good that most of the batsmen have got a decent hit in the games they have played."
The skipper said the quick start when batting had been a bid to improve their run rate.
"When you're playing some of the so-called weaker sides in the world you try to get as many runs as possible with the new ball and when you're trying to do that your batsmen play aggressive shots and it's not all the time you'll be successful," he said.
Dhoni said it was important to take wickets with the new ball as a way of slowing the opposition but backed his bowlers to perform.
India have struggled to force early breakthroughs in their matches so far with the exception of the Ireland game, where paceman Zaheer Khan took two early wickets.
"I think we've got quite a few talented bowlers who can really swing the ball and even if there's no swing for them they can bowl a tight line and get the batsmen out."
And the skipper said off-spinner Harbhajan Singh would come into his own as the tournament progressed. So far he has taken just two wickets in four matches.
"I think as the tournament heats up in the coming few games you'll see a different Harbhajan Singh," adding that better opponents would bring out the best in him.