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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Hockey World Cup: India must be alert when Belgium attack from left - Sardar Singh

According to Sardar, India skipper Manpreet Singh, Akashdeep Singh, who is playing the role of linkman, goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and forward Mandeep Singh are the India players to watch.

other-sports Updated: Dec 02, 2018 12:03 IST
Saurabh Duggal
Saurabh Duggal
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
Simranjeet Singh of India celebrates with teammates after scoring during the FIH Men's Hockey World Cup Pool C match between India and South Africa at Kalinga Stadium.
Simranjeet Singh of India celebrates with teammates after scoring during the FIH Men's Hockey World Cup Pool C match between India and South Africa at Kalinga Stadium.(Getty Images for FIH)
         

Like India chief coach Harendra Singh, former India skipper Sardar Singh, who was part of the team until a couple of months ago, also feels that the best way to tackle Belgium is to concentrate more on attacking hockey.

“Sunday’s match is going to be the most important for India because topping the group will help us reach nearer to the medal podium. At the same time, looking at Belgium’s credentials, it will not be an easy task. If we have to win this game we have to concentrate on traditional attacking hockey and stick to the basics. My interpretation of basic hockey is giving more emphasis on precision passing and trapping.

Also Read: Hockey World Cup - India face Belgium in high stakes clash

“In our half, it shouldn’t be more than two-three touches and we should have the ball more in the opponent’s half, rotating outside their 25-yard area. We should take risk only when we are moving inside the opponent’s 25-yard area. To my opinion we should not take much risk outside the 25-yard area of the opponent, because Belgium plays shoulder-to-shoulder marking and once there is a turnover, after that it’s an open ground and can cost us heavily. At the same time, if we succeed than it’s an open ground for us too. So, it should be a well calculated risk.

On Belgium’s game

“We can’t take them lightly in any department, but we must be extra cautious when Belgium initiate an attack from the left. Whenever there is a turnover on the left flank (in India’s half) they can be very dangerous. Their success rate is quite high from attacks originating from the left side.

“We should be wary of striker Tom Boon. He can be very dangerous inside the striking area and during penalty corners. Our defence will have a major role to play and we should try not to give them penalty corners.”

Players to watch for in Indian camp

According to Sardar, India skipper Manpreet Singh, Akashdeep Singh, who is playing the role of linkman, goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and forward Mandeep Singh are the India players to watch.

“The win in the first match of the tournament is very important for any team to build momentum, irrespective of whether that win comes against the low ranked team or a tough opponent. After a win against South Africa, the entire team must be in high spirits and each player must give more than 80 percent, only then can we win this game.

“My prediction is it will be decided by one goal difference.”

First Published: Dec 02, 2018 11:56 IST

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