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Right combo on Nobbs’ mind

India won 2-1 against South Africa in the second match of the five-test series, but chief national coach, Michael Nobbs, struggled to find the right combination at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2012 23:51 IST
Navneet Singh

India won 2-1 against South Africa in the second match of the five-test series, but chief national coach, Michael Nobbs, struggled to find the right combination at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

The strategy of fielding youngsters didn’t work and a disappointed Nobbs said he had hoped the plan would work. “The combination wasn’t productive. Overall, the team made a lot of unforced errors,” he
said.

Going by the mood, Nobbs may not consider too many juniors for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers in February.

“The idea is to try new combinations (in the series). Unfortunately, today’s set of players were not as good,” he said.Keeping the Olympic qualifying rounds in mind, Nobbs had chosen some junior players for the senior camp.

But, they didn’t fit into the Australian’s schemes of things on Tuesday. “Players with fewer caps might take some more time to graduate to the senior level,” he said.

Since the hosts could not taste success in the striking circle early on in the match, Nobbs made frequent substitutions. Still, luck eluded the team. India got both their goals towards the end of each session. In between, they conceded one in the 43rd minute.

The result means that Nobbs is likely to field a fresh set of players in the remaining three matches, as he will not get another opportunity to test the players ahead of the main event in February.

But he kept his cards close to the chest. “Everyday we want to try out new players,” was all he said. Even South Africa are out to experiment in the series.

“It is a good platform to test players ahead of the Olympic qualifier,” said coach, Gregg Clark, after his side conceded last-minute goals in both the sessions.