Predictable play lets India team down
Mistakes in serves and poor blocking at the net emerged as the two most striking problems as India went down fighting to a second string Iran in their second match of the Men's Asian Volleyball Championships (central zone) at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.other Updated: Sep 18, 2010 23:30 IST
Mistakes in serves and poor blocking at the net emerged as the two most striking problems as India went down fighting to a second string Iran in their second match of the Men's Asian Volleyball Championships (central zone) at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on Saturday. After defeating Kazakhstan on the opening day, India went down 25-16, 26-24, 23-25, 25-23 in close to two hours.
Iran attacked right from start and took the first set very comfortably. But India came back in the second and had their noses ahead for the better part of the match till things got to the business end. A costly mistake by India's libero Kanagaraj when India were serving for the set let Iran creep back and take a 2-0 lead. The introduction of Shelton Moses in the third in place of G. Pradeep improved the blocking at the net and India took the set 25-23.
But Iran were all the while getting rather used to India's generally predictable attack from the backcourt through skipper Sanjay Kumar and the holes were soon plugged. That nullified on most occasions, India had to mainly rely on their opponents' mistakes.
India opened up a four-point lead in the fourth set to raise hopes of a super comeback, but Iran held their formation and all but assured themselves a berth in Monday's final.
“Iran did not show much of their strategy against Pakistan. Today they played a different game and their live video analysis of our match helped as well and kept changing their strategy,” Kumar said. “We were let down by our serves,” accepted coach Desh Raj.
“It's not just about our video analysis or the confidence we have as being the highest ranked team in Asia. A lot of it is strategy. We always use all our six substitutions in a set and use our timeouts well,” said Iran coach Payman Akbari. “The way I look at it is if each of our player knows his responsibility and contributes just two points we have 24 points. It's simple, but you need discipline,” he said.
Power trip halts play
A “voltage fluctuation” interrupted the first match between Pakistan and Kazakhstan for 37 minutes. Kazakhstan were leading 21-17 in the second set after having won the first when some floodlights went off around 3.45 pm. General secretary of West Bengal Volleyball Association, Rathin Roy Chowdhury, blamed it on the CESC power supply saying, “There was a voltage fluctuation and it has happened before. This is not about maintenance or anything and we can't do anything about it.” Pakistan lost 25-11, 25-22, 25-23.
India to take on Pak
As things have panned out politically and otherwise, India and Pakistan do not face each other much in team games. But the archrivals face off in a league match of the Championships on Sunday.
The poor performance of the Pakistan team here so far could be a dampener, but the fact that India have to win for a chance to get into the final after losing to Iran, will definitely add to the tempo of the match.