Their eyes firmly set on a podium end within the upcoming Commonwealth Video games, India would look to utilise their closing 2021-2022 FIH Professional League tie towards the Netherlands, beginning on Saturday, to handle the gray areas.
Of their earlier tie towards Tokyo Olympic champions Belgium in Antwerp final week, India gained the primary match 5-4 (3-3) in shoot-out earlier than shedding 2-3 to slid to the third place within the Professional League standings with 29 factors from 14 video games.
Belgium moved to the highest with 31 factors from 14 video games — on par with Netherlands — who’ve performed 12 matches.
Nonetheless in with an out of doors likelihood of ending on the high of the standings, the Indian males could be hoping to log off their marketing campaign on a excessive towards the mighty Netherlands.
However it’s simpler mentioned than finished as world No. 3 and reigning World Cup runners-up, the Netherlands are a formidable outfit and are anticipated to provide the Indians a tricky time within the double-leg tie.
Taking part in towards such world-class opponents in European situations can solely profit the Indians as they put together for the Birmingham CWG, to be held from July 28 to August 8.
FIH Professional League: Belgium blanks Indian girls 5-0
These matches are offering beneficial insights to the Indian crew’s suppose tank on the place it stands at present and what extra must be finished to complete on the rostrum in Birmingham.
In opposition to world No.1 Belgium, the Amit Rohidas-led Indian crew confirmed great preventing spirit in each the matches, and the guests would look to proceed in the identical vein towards the Netherlands.
India’s vice-captain and ace drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh believed that the 2 abroad ties towards Belgium and Netherlands will maintain the facet in good stead within the Birmingham Video games.
“Taking part in back-to-back matches in Professional League has benefited us so much. In Professional League you’re taking part in towards the 12 greatest groups on the earth. After each match the considering modifications, the technique modifications and it’s serving to us so much.
“We’re studying in each facet of the sport in each match,” he mentioned.
Although India are nonetheless in with an opportunity of successful the league, Harmanpreet mentioned they’re simply aiming to complete the marketing campaign on a constructive word. The remaining relies on luck and outcomes of different fixtures.
“It’s our final two matches, we’ve got no choice however to win to be within the reckoning. There may be not a lot distinction between the highest three groups however Netherlands have an edge as they nonetheless have 4 video games remaining and Belgium have two video games towards England.” Harmanpreet identified that ending and stopping the opposition assault exterior their ‘D’ are the 2 most important areas on which they’re focussing on forward of the CWG.
Apart from the lads, the Indian girls will even be in motion within the weekend towards Olympic silver medallist and world No. 2 Argentina, who’re on a 14-match unbeaten streak.
The Indian girls had misplaced 1-2 and 0-5 to Belgium in Antwerp final week.
Regardless of the defeat, the Indian girls are positioned third within the standings with 22 factors from 10 video games, behind Netherlands (32 factors) and table-toppers Argentina (38).
However going into Saturday’s first recreation, the Indian girls could be low on confidence after the beating by the hands of Belgium final Sunday.
FIH Professional League: Hendrickx strikes twice as Belgium beats India 3-2
India captain Savita mentioned the gamers should deal with strain if they’re to e book their locations within the squad for the World Cup, to be held in Spain and the Netherlands from July 1 to 17.
“The gamers should adapt and deal with the strain, nevertheless it’s not the identical on a regular basis. Generally a participant can let this actual fact run their thoughts and let it have an effect on their recreation as a result of it is not simple while you’re taking part in.
“It is simple to say do not get affected by the truth that if you’ll not carry out and get dropped.
“Right here, it was a crew of 24 gamers first, then it bought to twenty gamers then it needed to be all the way down to 18 gamers, so sure the gamers did really feel the strain and I feel it does have an effect on the efficiency.
“However nobody is responsible on this situation as a result of we have to deal with the strain right here if we wish to carry out within the World Cup.
“In Olympics, the crew dealt with the strain nicely, even in Bhubaneswar we bought to know the way the gamers deal with the house floor strain,” she mentioned.