Monday, June 22, 2015

Five Things We Learnt from India vs Belgium match in Hockey World League



India needs to work very hard to qualify for Olympics
Indian women team lost to hosts of Hockey World League semi-finals Belgium 1-0 with Van Lindt scoring a goal in the second quarter of the match through a penalty corner. Here are five things we learnt from India-Belgium match in Hockey World League. 

      Poor Body Language
As soon as players entered the pitch, it was quite evident that the players were not ready for the match. There
was no aggression among the players, they were slow to move and most of them, especially the seniors looked disinterested in the match. The poor body before the start of the match then continued on the pitch with the players mostly being non committal during the play. The confidence the team was talking about before the start of the tournament was missing completely. New coach Mathias Ahrens should have noted this and make his players psyched up before the start of every game.

      Good Defence
This is something you do not expect from Indian hockey team, but yesterday against Belgium, Indian defence was rock solid and kept on thwarting Belgium attack whole time during the match. Belgium attacked from the word go but Indian defence led by Sunita Lakra and Deep Grace Ekka were solid on the field and defended with really well and were equally supported by other players. On a day when everything went wrong for Indian team, the defence really surprised fans by dishing out a great performance.

      No attacking strategy
Despite haing the likes of Vandana Kataria, Rani Rampal and Ritu Rani in the team, Indian team had not attacking strategy and relied only on long balls with a hope of getting a deflection into goal which never came. For the whole play of 60 minutes whenever Indian team got the ball, they just whacked it forward (most of the time miss-hitting). India play next match against New Zealand and they need to sort out this issue and come up with some potent attacking strategy.

            Commitment of Senior Players
Out of 18 players selected for the tournament, 7 players had earned more than 100 caps for India but despite being experienced, they did not show enough guts to take on the Belgium players, and Rani Rampal, veteran of more than 200 games was absent on the field. She failed to create a single move during the entire game and did not even look for the ball. Only captain Ritu Rani and defenders played their heart out for India, the rest were just making up the numbers.

      Improved Passing
In a match where Indian attack failed entirely, one saving grace was the passing which was much better as compared to tournaments where Indian women team played before. The players passed the ball to each other with ease and comfort. Though those passes made did not create any goal scoring chances but it was quite good to see India playing a good passing game.

Agree with our learning? What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below 

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