India look to complete series with another win
India will look to notch up another morale-boosting win as the arch-rivals go into the sixth and final Test on Sunday.india Updated: Feb 25, 2006 15:59 IST
Having recorded their first win over Pakistan in the bilateral hockey series in Faisalabad, India will look to notch up another morale-boosting win as the arch-rivals go into the sixth and final Test here on Sunday.
India, who have already lost the series 3-1, would take heart from the win on Friday and try to restore some pride by beating their tradition rivals on their home turf.
Notwithstanding the fact that the Indians messed up a number of scoring chances— both off penalty corners and good moves— in Friday's match, the best thing about their performance was better control over the game which clicked for them in the end.
The absence of an unfit Harpal Singh was felt in the Faisalabad match as the Pak strikers battered a fragile Sandeep Singh at the deep defence.
If Harpal does not play Sunday's match, then there lies a problem for Indian coach Rajinder Singh because, he has to strike a balance between fielding a better defender in William Xalxo and an able drag-flicker in Sandeep.
The effectiveness of the Indian strikers, however, is the biggest worry as they have spoilt several chances in every match. So Rajinder has to dish out some confidence-boosting tips to make them click.
Despite a few lapses which allowed India to come back in the last two matches, Pakistan have a formiddable defence in Zeeshan Ashraf and Imran Warsi.
Also, their forwardline— studded with the likes of Rehan Butt, Shakeel Abassi and Tariq Aziz— is an effective one.
But the hosts may desist from playing new faces for longer periods in their bid to win at least one match at home.