November 14 2019
India may try out a few things against Poland
23 February 2012

The Indian hockey team will keenly watch the clash between Canada and France before deciding on its course of action for its last round robin match against Poland in the Olympic qualifier at the National Stadium here on Friday.

India, with maximum of 12 points from its four outings, has almost ensured itself a spot in the final, and will want to avoid all threats to its aspirations of winning a ticket to London.

On the eve of India's engagement against Poland, which had gathered nine points from four matches, chief coach Michael Nobbs insisted that the Indian team would continue to play its style of attacking hockey and push for another victory.

Captain Bharat Chetri said: “We will prefer to play France than Canada in the final. We have to see what happens in their match.”

However, Chetri had a word of caution about India's immediate opponent, Poland.

“Poland is playing well. They are a fit side and have beaten Canada,” he said.

Nobbs did not attach much importance to the team's past results against the Poland — neither a heart-breaking 1-1 draw in the Sydney Olympics nor the 7-0 win in the Champions Challenge in December last. “They are much fitter now and we expect a tougher game,” he said.

Rupinderpal for Walmiki?

India may try some interesting experiments against Poland. With striker Yuvraj Walmiki being ruled out for the rest of the tournament due to a hamstring injury, Nobbs said he would try out defender Rupinderpal Singh, who had played as a forward in Australia.

“Yuvraj will take seven to 10 days to recover. We fear he might have aggravated a previous injury. He has to be careful in his rehab. He is not a happy boy,” said Nobbs.

Both the goalkeepers, Chetri and P.R. Sreejesh, who might get half-a-game each against Poland, went through some tough training this evening. They took turns to stand under the bar and face a dozen-odd players unleash a barrage of quick shots at the goal from inside the circle.

“It was done to sharpen them up. They have been tested very little in the tournament so far — we have got only four shots at the goal each in the last two matches,” explained Nobbs.

Friday's schedule:

Men: Italy vs Singapore (12 p.m.); France vs Canada (4 p.m.); India vs Poland (8 p.m.).

Women: Ukraine vs Poland (10 a.m.); South Africa vs Canada (2 p.m.); India vs Italy (6 p.m.).



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