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Hockey World Cup: Can India win today?

Winless India eye full points against fellow strugglers Malaysia in their Group 'A' match

Sundeep MisraThe Hague: Hockey statistics are often misleading; especially at the World Cup. Ask the Germans who were stunned by Argentina a few days back.

Indian coach Terry Walsh would be reminding his own team of not reading too much into numbers as they get ready to take on Malaysia in their fourth match here at the World Cup in The Hague.

In their last five matches against Malaysia, India have won thrice, drawn one and lost one. In their last match played at Kakamigahara in the Asian Champions Trophy, India beat Malaysia 4-3. In the World Cup, they have played each other thrice — India winning twice and losing once in 2002 when Malaysia was the host.

India
India's Rupinder Singh taking a penalty corner during their Hockey World Cup match against Spain on Thursday.

The match would be played at the Greenfield stadium, just outside the Kyocera, which is like an outpost, most teams find uncomfortable. Terry after the draw against Spain, said, “The pitch is slow and we had trouble adjusting.”

Terry Walsh
Terry Walsh

Eager to win
Speaking about Malaysia, after a short training session, adjacent to the World Hockey Masters Cup at the KZ club, “They are fast on the break and we will not take them lightly,” he said. “The team is eager to record its first win and hopefully, the patchy performance against Spain will not be repeated.”

India would be looking forward to improve its penalty corner conversion record. They have earned seven penalty corners and no conversions.

What happened?
Before the tournament, India was rated as one of the best in the business. In fact, with India leading 2-1 against Belgium, they had a penalty corner and a conversion then would have changed the course of the match and probably India’s destiny at the present World Cup.

Raghunath who missed that penalty corner agrees and says, “I know we are not performing in that area. We are having a close look and both I and Rupinder Pal would do our best against Malaysia.”

With a semi-final berth no longer possible, India would be going all out to gain three points to achieve a higher ranking in the classification matches.

Live tonight: India vs Malaysia on Ten Sports, Ten HD and DD National, 18:00

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