India look to raise their game

India look to raise their game

The entire Indian team, despite playing two games in as many days, turned up for a full fledged training session here on Sunday, sharpening their skills ahead of the final pool game against Germany.

During the one-hour session that had little doses of fun, the Indians touched upon key aspects  - the strikers taking shots, the drag-flickers unleashing their hits and defenders practicing trapping. While the match against Germany may not have any serious implication as all teams advance for the quarterfinals, India would be hoping to end the pool phase with a win and rise above fourth place.

The Indians opened the Hockey World League Final with a stirring 1-1 draw against world and defending champions Australia but were beset by the familiar defensive woes in a 2-3 defeat against England. All three goals were conceded through sloppy work at the back and the Indians' inability to stick to a game plan.

"We watched the match against England and saw a lot of things where we can improve," said coach Sjoerd Marjine. "Germany is an opportunity to improve ourself. We were better in the fourth quarter against England. We are here to win matches and want to win the final pool game."

Marjine acknowledged India let themselves down against England. "Against Australia the team was disciplined but against England there was little bit less energy in the beginning. We made more individual mistakes yesterday. We had more opportunities against Australia. The speed of the game against Australia was high because our passing was fast. Yesterday we kept the ball a little bit longer. From the defensive side, we did the half-court press very well.

"For us it's important to create spaces and for that to happen we have to stay outside the physical space of the opponents. We didn't do that in the opening two quarters but changed that in the last two. We increased the speed and were able to create chances. But we gifted away goals and when you do that, you have to score a lot. We want to avoid them."

Monday's fixtures (both Pool B): Australia vs England (5:30 pm); India vs Germany (7:30 pm).

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry