Indian Hockey Team
Indian Hockey Team

Hockey Champions Trophy: India to take on Australia

ANI | Updated: Jun 27, 2018 11:48 IST

Breda (Netherlands), 27 June (ANI): After a sensational start to their campaign at the Rabobank Men's Hockey Champions Trophy with two back-to-back victories, the Indian Men's Hockey Team will take on the formidable World No.1 Australia at the BH and BC Hockey Stadium here on Wednesday.
The PR Sreejesh-led side earned their first winning point against arch-rivals Pakistan with a stupendous 4-0 win, followed by a spirited 2-1 victory against Olympic Champions and World No.2 Argentina in a closely fought encounter to acquire top position in the pool table.
Reflecting on the two victories India coach Harendra Singh said that change in attitude worked for the team and allowed the players to play freely.
"We made some key changes in how we defend and attack during our preparations for this tournament. I think one of the main elements is that our strikers are willing to take that extra risk in the circle knowing well enough that the defenders will support them if by chance they lose the ball. I think this change in attitude made them play freely in the first two matches and defending well was our priority," Harendra said.
In the first match against Pakistan, India made 22 circle entries, took six shots on goal out of which four were converted and held 49.3 percent ball possession while against Argentina they made 18 circle entries, took six shots and goal converting two and were on par with the Olympic Champions in terms of ball possession.
However, when the head coach was asked whether he is satisfied with the team's statistics in the tournament he replied in negative.
"No. I need them to make more circle penetrations and take more shots on goal. The team has so much more potential and it's time they stop hanging on to the No.6 spot in the world and surge to the top three. We have always spoken about doing well against the top 5 world ranked teams. I think this is the best chance to show that we can," the head coach stated.
"Australia are among the fittest teams in the world, they play with a lot of speed like us and are consistent but we need to carry on the momentum we have started with," he added.
Ahead of the clash, Indian coach has suggested that the Indian team would need to continue with their hunger for victory if they want to reach the final.
"Continue to show that hunger to win if you want to see yourself in the final," Harendra advised the Indian team.
Defending champions Australia are placed second in the Pool table after having drawn 3-3 against Belgium and won 2-1 against Pakistan.
The match against Australia will be followed by a clash against World No. 3 Belgium scheduled to be held on June 28. (ANI)