Crowd will give us an edge in the semis
The present Pakistan squad is definitely better than the one that came here for World Cup earlier this year. My assessment is based on their performance in the pool matches against Malaysia, Scotland and Australia.india Updated: Oct 12, 2010 00:22 IST
The present Pakistan squad is definitely better than the one that came here for World Cup earlier this year. My assessment is based on their performance in the pool matches against Malaysia, Scotland and Australia.
However, in a clash between Asian giants India and Pakistan, all calculations can go haywire. Teams forget basics and flow with the crowd. It was the case again on Sunday. With a full house cheering the home team, we humbled Pakistan with the biggest ever margin, 7-4. In the 1986 Indo-Pak hockey Test series in Hyderabad, we had registered a 6-3 victory.
On Sunday, we were better than Pakistan, especially in converting penalty-corners. Once we converted two penalty-corners at the outset, Pakistan looked demoralised. With this big win we have cleared one big hurdle in our quest to winning the title. It is also a big morale booster for us against England in the semi-final. England are a tough side. They had displayed consistency in the Champions Trophy before going down fighting to Australia in the final.
I’ve observed English players competing here aren’t very aggressive. However, occasionally they have lived up to expectations. Our clash against England in semi-final is expected to be keenly contested. It will not be so open as it was against Pakistan. But we have the psychological advantage with the crowd right behind us and we will fancy our chances. Hawkeye Communications/Chivach Sports
First Published: Oct 12, 2010 00:20 IST