India look to warm up for Pak tie with big win over B’desh


Dhaka,
After a great start to the tournament, the Indian men’s hockey team would look to iron out a few flaws when it takes on hosts Bangladesh in the

Asia Cup here tomorrow.

Bolstered by the 5-1 win over Japan in the opener and considering the fact that Pakistan steamrolled Bangladesh 7-0 yesterday, India will start

as overwhelming favourites.

India, playing their maiden tournament under coach Sjoerd Marijne, looked impressive from the word go against Japan. And come tomorrow,

India would look to polish the skills further before their final preliminary fixture against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday.

While the Indian attacking force of SV Sunil, Lalit Upadhyay, Ramandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh looked threatening, the young

Harmanpreet Singh not only held the defence together but was also a force to reckon with while taking penalty corners, converting two set-

pieces.

Even though it was a commanding performance against Japan, Marijne is not satisfied. “As a coach, I am always critical so I have to say I am

not 100 percent happy with how we played,” Marijne said.

“I believe we can do better but this was our first match and now that the team is done with shaking off the initial jitters, I think we can focus on

an improved performance in the next game,” the Dutchman added. “If we are able to stick to our plans, then I don’t see why we should not win

the match.”

The Asia Cup will be the last tournament Marijne will get to gauge the team’s strengths and weaknesses before the year-ending Hockey World

League Final in Bhubaneswar.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh skipper Rashel Mahmud said his team will have to put up a much better performance against India if they want to give

any fight to their fancied opponents. “We did not play a good match against Pakistan and made a lot of mistakes that led them to score so

many goals,” Mahmud said.

“It was a bad start but we don’t want to let this loss affect our confidence. We will come back as a better team against India.”

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