Ample recreation time in opposition to high quality opposition, engaged on their tactical nous might be excessive on Indian males’s and ladies’s hockey groups’ agenda as they resume their respective FIH Professional League campaigns in opposition to Belgium on saturday as pre-cursor to Commonwealth Video games.
Whereas the Indian males’s staff is scheduled to play hosts Belgium (June 11 and June 12), adopted by video games in opposition to the Netherlands (June 18 and June 19 in Rotterdam), the ladies will play Belgium (June 11 and June 12), Argentina (June 18 and June 19) and america (June 21 and June 22).
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For the Indian ladies, these matches maintain better significance forward of the FIH Ladies’s World Cup to be collectively hosted by Spain and the Netherlands from July 1 to 17.
The Indian males are at the moment positioned second within the league standings with 27 factors from 12 video games, a rung above Belgium, who’ve the identical variety of factors however are positioned beneath on purpose distinction.
So, there may be hardly something to separate between the India and Belgium.
For India, the back-to-back matches would supply them with a chance to reclaim their prime spot within the league, which has been taken away by the Netherlands with 28 factors from 10 video games.
Apart from making a mark within the Professional-League, the matches would additionally present helpful recreation time for each the nationwide groups forward of the Birmingham Video games, scheduled to be held from July 28 to August 8.
With eyes firmly set on podium finishes at this yr’s Birmingham Video games, each males’s and ladies’s hockey chief coaches Graham Reid and Janneka Schopman had already insisted that they’re trying on the European leg of the league to realize higher tactical insights about their respective sides.
The Indian males have fielded a powerful 20-member squad for the European sojourn beneath the management of Amit Rohidas.
The staff’s defence might be manned by veteran custodian PR Sreejesh and younger Suraj Karkera, together with defenders Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Jugraj Singh and Jarmanpreet Singh.
The mid-field options skilled Tokyo Olympic bronze medal-winning skipper Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Shamsher Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Akashdeep Singh and Nilakanta Sharma whereas the onus of scoring objectives might be on Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Shilanand Lakra, Sukhjeet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Abhishek.
In the meantime, the 24-member ladies’s staff might be led by goalkeeper Savita with defender Deep Grace Ekka as her deputy.
The staff additionally contains Junior World Cup stars like Bichu Devi Kharibam, Ishika Chaudhary, Akshata Abaso Dhekale, Baljeet Kaur, Sangita Kumari and Deepika, whereas skilled striker Rani Rampal is ready to return to motion after her final look on the Tokyo Olympics. She was on the sidelines on account of a hamstring damage.
The backline will even have Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan and Udita.
Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, Sonika, Salima Tete and Baljeet Kaur will maintain the midfield collectively, whereas the strike-force may have skilled Vandana Katariya main the cost alongside aspect Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi, Sangita Kumari, Deepika and Rani.
The return matches of the ties might be performed on Sunday.