Patchy India need improved performance against Netherlands

Rotterdam, Jun 14: Held to a draw by lower-ranked Ireland in their FIH World League Round 3 opener, the Indian men's hockey team will have to regroup quickly and come up with something special against
patchy india need improved performance against...
PTI June 14, 2013 17:33 IST
Rotterdam, Jun 14: Held to a draw by lower-ranked Ireland in their FIH World League Round 3 opener, the Indian men's hockey team will have to regroup quickly and come up with something special against formidable Netherlands in their next Pool B match here tomorrow.



Ranked four places ahead of their rivals, India (11) started as overwhelming favourites against Ireland (15) yesterday, but it didn't really show in their game as they laboured to a 4-4 draw.

Defence has been India's perennial problem and it hurt them against the Irish yesterday.

There was clear lack of co-ordination between Indian mid-fielders and the forwardline and they were also guilty of giving away the ball easily to their opponents.

But come tomorrow, the Indians cannot afford to commit the same mistakes against the Netherlands, who are ranked third in the world and are the current Olympic silver-medallists.

Going by the rankings and present status of both the teams, India, undoubtedly, will start underdogs in tomorrow's encounter.

After missing out on a point against Ireland, the Indians can hardly afford to relax as a loss against the Dutch can jeopardise their chance of sealing one of the three berths up for grabs in next year's World Cup.

Banking on home support, Netherlands too be would desperate for a win against India tomorrow after they played out a 3-3 draw against New Zealand yesterday.
 
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