On rest day, India stay focused on Hockey Junior World Cup quarterfinal | other sports | Hindustan Times
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On rest day, India stay focused on Hockey Junior World Cup quarterfinal

India got an off day at the Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup on Tuesday, and the former champions bonded over food. Ahead of the quarterfinal against Spain on Thursday, the players watched the footage from their and the rivals’ matches.

other sports Updated: Dec 13, 2016 23:12 IST
Sharad Deep
India, led by Harjeet Singh, are one of the favourites to win the Hockey Junior World Cup ahead of six-time champions Germany.
India, led by Harjeet Singh, are one of the favourites to win the Hockey Junior World Cup ahead of six-time champions Germany.(HT)

India got an off day at the Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup on Tuesday, and the former champions bonded over food. Ahead of the quarterfinal against Spain on Thursday, the players watched the footage from their and the rivals’ matches.

“It was ‘chutti’ for everyone, but the boys chose to focus on Thursday’s match. We didn’t stop them from watching the footage of the rivals and discussing on-field plans,” a team official told HT.

India are one of the favourites to win the cup ahead of six-time champions Germany, who are looking for a hat-trick of titles. India finished fifth in their maiden appearance in 1979, lifted the cup in 2001 and finished 10th at the last edition in New Delhi in 2013.

“There is no chance of a comeback in the knockout stage. We need to excel and win,” said coach Harendra Singh, who regrets India missing bronze at Rotterdam in The Netherlands in 2005.

Captain Harjeet Singh said he couldn’t stop thinking about the quarterfinal even on the rest day. “We started thinking about the quarterfinal soon after our match against South Africa on Monday night,” he said.

DISCIPLINED

Oceania Junior Cup runners-up New Zealand are out of contention for a quarterfinal berth, finishing third in Group C behind table toppers Germany and Spain, but their discipline is the talk of the town.

The Black Caps, who finished fourth in 2009, drink plenty of water and avoid heavy meals.

They have milk, bread and butter for breakfast, but skip lunch. “They are very strict about food,” said an official assisting the team. “Though the players visited a few places in the state capital the past week, they chose not to eat anything outside,” he said.