Jyoti Sunita Kullu, the flag-bearer of the Indian contingent at the Asian Games opening ceremony, had another cherishing day as she struck thrice — in the 18th, 39th and 58th minutes — to take the country past Chinese-Taipei 7-1 in women's hockey at the Al Rayyan stadium on Sunday.
On a day when forward Surinder Kaur, who had the second-highest number of goals in the World Cup despite playing two games short, scored two goals in the second half to increase the lead further.
There was not much the hapless Chinese Taipei girls could do, as the Indian forward-line gelled well. The other two scorers for India were Subhadra Pradhan and Saba Anjum.
India take on Champions Trophy runners-up China in the next round-robin match and the margin of victory is expected to hold the team in good stead when it comes to deciding the toppers from the group.
After the win, coach MK Kaushik said that China would surely be a tough competitor despite finishing just one spot ahead of India at the World Cup. "We should not assess China on the basis of the World Cup.
Though they finished tenth, they are very good in set-pieces," he said. "It's a fresh beginning and the performance should be much better here," said Kaushik.