India look to even out rough edges
Though the Indian team has done exceedingly well in the Punjab Gold Cup so far, virtually assuring itself of a place in the final, there are still grey areas the team has to work on, reports Saurabh Duggal.india Updated: Feb 06, 2009 12:44 IST
Though the Indian team has done exceedingly well in the Punjab Gold Cup so far, virtually assuring itself of a place in the final, there are still grey areas the team has to work on.
Failure to earn penalty corners in two of the four matches and the inability to beat The Netherlands and tackling them before the final are few concerns that would be the priority for coach in-charge Harendra Singh.
In all probability, India will meet The Netherlands in the final as both teams virtually sealed their places in the summit clash with two matches to play. Both have to play Germany and New Zealand in the last set of matches, which are struggling to register victory.
But the Indians have found the depleted Dutch team a tough nut to crack and had to fight back from behind to force a draw 2-2 on Wednesday.
Harendra, who will be testing his bench in the upcoming matches against Germany and New Zealand, was happy with his boys' performance thus far but admitted some areas need attention.
"The team is playing as a unit and performing as per the plans. But if we have to win the final, we have to concentrate on areas in which we are not doing so well," he said.
"Right now, I am focussing on the remaining league matches. Some of the boys have not got to play, so we will give them a chance in the next two matches. We will utilise our bench strength," he said.
About the Holland match, Harendra said he has some surprises in store for the final. "Holland is one of the world's top team.
But in both the matches, my boys had played as per plan. I assure you I have some special plans for the final and we will surprise everyone. We are not going to disappoint our fans," Harendra said.
Harendra said he was not worried by his team's failure to force penalty corners in two of the four games, as the boys were enough field goals.
"The aim is to score goals, whatever manner they come in. Till the time we are scoring field goals, the situation is not alarming," he said.
First Published: Feb 06, 2009 12:42 IST