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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

Hockey

'Pak favourites in Asian Champions Trophy'
IANS
Doha, December 20, 2012
First Published: 00:14 IST(20/12/2012)
Last Updated: 00:15 IST(20/12/2012)

India's chief hockey coach Michael Nobbs feels that Pakistan, who finished third in the Champions Trophy, are favourites to win the Asian Champions Trophy that begins here from Dec 20.

The Australian feels Pakistan are an experienced side compared to defending champions India.

An experienced Pakistan team defeated India 3-2 to win the bronze in the Champions Trophy in Melbourne last week.

Nobbs said both India and Pakistan are coming straight from a tough tournament but Pakistan have the edge. The two teams arrived here Tuesday for the six-nation meet. India had defeated Pakistan to win the inaugural Champions trophy in China. "Look, Pakistan is clearly the favourites for this tournament. Both teams are playing after coming straight from a tough tournament. But Pakistan has some great players like Shakeel Abbasi and Waseem Ahmed, between them they have around 600 games. We have Sardar (Singh) who has figured in 150 matches," Nobbs was quoted as saying by The Peninsula.

Thanks to their bronze-medal finish in the Champion Trophy, Pakistan have jumped from the ninth spot to fifth and are now the top-ranked in tournament in the Asian meet. They face defending champions India, Dec 24. The Indian team has undergone a sea change since finishing last in the London Games. The selectors fielded a young team in the Champions Trophy, where India made an impressive fourth finish.


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