The women’s chief national hockey coach, CR Kumar, on Saturday said the four-match series against Azerbaijan beginning on Sunday, will give the players an opportunity to show their mettle and also impress the selectors, who would be short-listing names for the Olympic Qualifiers to be held here from February 18.
Kumar said every player in the camp would be given an opportunity to sweat it out on the field, so that they could be considered for selection.
He said that though the national team had given a good account of itself during the exposure trip to Australia and the four-nation tournament in Argentina, it had failed to grab goal-scoring opportunities. “It is one area that needs improvement,” he said on the eve of the series.
On why India chose to play Azerbaijan, who are ranked lower than the hosts, the coach said, “The Central Asian team has a lot of Korean players in their ranks. And they play fast-paced hockey.”
India skipper Ashunta Lakra said, “Skill-wise, we are better, but they play tough hockey.” The second match of the series will be played on January 16, while the third will be on January 18. The last match is slated for January 19.