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Muller’s prediction coming true

German skipper Maxi Muller predicted difficult times for defenders after their first practice match on the newly laid Poligras turf at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, reports B Shrikant.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2010 01:09 IST
B Shrikant

German skipper Maxi Muller predicted difficult times for defenders after their first practice match on the newly laid Poligras turf at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

According to him, the blades are too hard, rendering the pitch bouncy and the ball difficult to control. “We should see quite a lot of penalty corners as the defenders will take time to adjust to the bounce. There will be lot of errors while defending,” said Muller on Tuesday.

Going by the results, Muller’s prediction seems spot on. In the six matches so far, teams have conceded 52 penalty corners with England leading the tally with 12 PCs against Australia. Germany, as usual, have been stingy and have given away only one. The bounce seems to affect the drag flickers too as only 14 of the 52 attempts have been successful.

The scoring ratio is not too bad as the teams have been able to score 13 goals off the field at the end of the Netherlands’ match against Argentina on Monday night. In all, 28 goals have been scored in six games — a healthy average of 4.66 goals per game. Though it is early days, as the12 teams have played one match each, the conditions indicate that this could be a high scoring World Cup.

Only the Netherlands and Korea have a 100 per cent record when it comes to capitalizing on penalty corners. Taeke Taekema scored off all the three PCs against Argentina while Korea’s Hyun Hye Sung scored off their lone short corner against Germany.

India have converted three of their five penalty corners while Australia failed to convert 11 of the 12 they earned against England on Sunday.

The Indians had conceded five PCs of which Sohail Abbas converted one. Defending champions Germany have a poor 14 per cent success rate while Pakistan are marginally better at 16.