India take on Pakistan tomorrow
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India take on Pakistan tomorrow

After cricketing victory, another epic rivalry will be witnessed, as the two teams clash at Chandigarh.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2006 18:47 IST

After cricket, another epic rivalry between India and Pakistan will be witnessed when the two Asian hockey giants clash in the first of the six-match home-and-away series on Friday.

Both countries have so far played 46 matches in seven series. Pakistan have won 22 and India 15 while nine matches ended in draw. The visitors have a clear edge over the hosts as they have a 5-1 series lead with the 2004 series going in favour of Pakistan (4-2).

Both the teams have included new faces in their line-up. Pakistan will be without the services of drag flick expert Sohail Abbas and the experienced Waseem Ahmed.

On the other hand Indian skipper Dilip Tirkey, who got married recently, will not play during the Indian leg. Arjun Hallapa is likely to captain the side after recently leading the Bangalore Lions to victory in the Premier Hockey League.

Pakistan coach Asif Bajwa would utilise rookies Mudassar Khan, Shabbir Khan and Mohammad Zubair in the forward line to prepare them for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games to be held from March 15-26. Bajwa has already indicated that the series would help both the countries to build their teams for the games.

India will be without the services of senior stars Gagan Ajit Singh, who captained India in the Champions Trophy in Chennai, Viren Rashquinha, Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh and Baljit Singh Saini who were left out for the series.

There place has been taken by Sardara Singh, Didar Singh, Hari Parsad, Raghunath, Tejbir Singh and Kamalpreet Singh.

First Published: Feb 16, 2006 18:47 IST