Australia hand India a 5-1 defeat
The world No 1 outfit put out a clinical performance to get back to winning ways
Having suffered their first loss in six years to India on Wednesday, the Australian hockey team came out with vengeance to hammer India 5-1 in the fourth match to clinch the five-Test series 3-1 at the Mate Stadium in Adelaide on Saturday.
The world No 1 outfit put out a clinical performance thanks to goals from Jeremy Hayward (29th, 41st), Jake Whetton (30th), Tom Wickham (34th) and Matt Dawson (54th). For India, forward Dilpreet Singh (25th) was the lone goal scorer.
“We started really well. The first seven minutes were very good and then India came back into the game. We had some pressure to deal with and we dealt with it well defensively and held them out. Then we re-established our game so overall I was really pleased. We were much better with the ball today. In Match 3 we were a bit conservative and played too narrow, so we opened up the game today,” said Australia head coach Colin Batch.
The home team showcased their defensive prowess, led by star goalkeeper Andrew Charter, who made some exceptional saves to keep India from scoring.
After no goals in the first quarter, India made the breakthrough in the 25th minute when Dilpreet put his skillset on display to fetch India the lead. The visitors could not hold on to it as four minutes later Australia responded with a goal. It was in-form Hayward, who converted a penalty corner. A minute later, they put another one in via Whetton to go ahead.
Even though India forwards made forays into the striking circle in the following two quarters, they could not breach the home team's defence. To add to their woes, Australia pumped goals at regular intervals, giving world No 5 India no room to bounce back.
Two goals in the third quarter via Wickham and Hayward further put India under the pump. The final quarter too saw Australia ride on the momentum to increase their lead to 5-1 from a penalty corner to end the game in their favour.
"Australia were definitely a better team today. They played defensively right from the start and we could not capitalise on the lead by putting pressure on them. As I had said earlier, this tour has given us great exposure and playing against a quality side like Australia is always a learning experience. We now know the areas that we need to further work on ahead of the World Cup," expressed India captain Harmanpreet Singh.
The fifth and final game of the series will be played on Sunday. "We will try and bounce back in tomorrow's match and look to end the tour on a good note," he signed off.