The fortunes of the two 2016 Coal India Hockey India League teams scheduled to meet at the Shivaji Hockey Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday cannot be more contrasting. After a heartbreaking start to their campaign that saw them lose four matches on the trot, Dabang Mumbai have made a wonderful turnaround. The Alphas have won their last two matches – a 7-5 victory over the Ranchi Rays and a 2-1 triumph over the Uttar Pradesh Wizards.
It has just been the opposite for the Delhi Waveriders, who are now on a three-match losing streak. Since winning three of their first four assignments, they have been struggling and their most recent match was a big disappointment as they slumped to a 0-4 defeat against the Kalinga Lancers.
This is the second time these two sides are clashing at the 2016 HIL. Their first showdown turned out to be a thriller in which the Waveriders staged a brilliant comeback to win 4-3. Can the confident Mumbai franchise exact revenge this time?
Date and Time: 9th February, 2016 – 5:50 PM (IST)
Telecast: English – Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD2; Digital Platform – Hotstar
Venue: Shivaji Hockey Stadium, Delhi
Goalkeepers: David Harte, Xavi Trenchs, Krishan B Pathak
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Matthew Swann, Jeremy Hayward, Gurmail Singh, Andrew Philpott, Diwakar Ram
Midfielders: Nilakanta Sharma, Danish Mujtaba, Vikas Sharma, Tyron Pereira, Manpreet
Forwards: Florian Fuchs, Affan Yousuf, Johan Bjorkman, Gurjant Singh, Roshan Minz, Dylan Wotherspoon
Goalkeepers: Devon Manchester, Harjot Singh
Defenders: Rupinder Pal Singh, Vickram Kanth, Amit Gowda, Tristan White, Justin Reid-Ross, Steven Edwards
Midfielders: Surender Kumar, Mark Pearson, Santa Singh, Benjamin Stanzl, Harjeet Singh
Forwards: Iain Lewers, Yuvraj Walmiki, Parvinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Prabhdeep Singh, Simon Child, Talwinder Singh
In January, Irishman David Harte was declared the men’s FIH ‘World Goalkeeper of the Year’ after a stunning 2015 season during which he helped his country qualify for the Olympics for the first time since 1908. Harte brought his exceptional goalkeeping skills into the fourth season of the HIL and has been instrumental in The Alphas’ recent resurgence. His acrobatic lunges and anticipation skills kept the charging Uttar Pradesh Wizards at bay in the last three quarters in Dabang Mumbai’s recent win.
With his remarkable speed and natural flair, it was only a matter of time before Swedish international Johan Björkman would open his account for Dabang Mumbai. The 22-year-old, who has a gold medal from the 2014 Euro Hockey League, finally came to the party in Mumbai’s last match. Björkman made the breakthrough against the UP Wizards as early as the eighth minute with a fabulous field goal and would look for his opportunities again.
Rupinder Pal Singh
With a whopping eight penalty corner conversions at this HIL, Indian player Rupinder Pal Singh is dangerous for any of Delhi’s rival teams. It goes without saying that he was in top form when the Alphas hosted the Waveriders in Mumbai. He struck twice in the Waveriders’ 4-3 win and would look to beat the Mumbai custodian Harte again.
22-year-old Talwinder Singh gave an example of his pace and quick thinking as he slammed in the winning field goal during Dabang Mumbai’s home match against the Delhi Waveriders. He showed his skills even in Delhi’s 4-6 loss to the UP Wizards last week with another field goal. With the Waveriders desperate to end their losing run, the Delhi forward would be aiming to breach the Mumbai defence again.
Dabang Mumbai: L – L – L – W – W
Delhi Waveriders: L – W – L – L – L
(Most recent on the right)Published 08 Feb 2016, 20:36 IST