What’s the story?
Indian team's hockey skipper Manpreet Singh has revealed his strategy of play against former world champions Australia while also adding that the team has greatly benefited under the coach Graham Reid.
In case you did not know
Indian hockey team, which has made a debut in the FIH Pro League, has had a great start to the tournament by winning against the world number one team Belgium and another strong opposition Netherlands. This has evoked strong hopes of the team winning a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The skipper though is cool and level headed before their next match against Australia.
The heart of the matter
India has honed up their attacking skills under their coach Graham Reid. The game against Belgium witnessed some great counter-attacking style of play, a strategy which Manpreet says they are building over time to score more goals.
The skipper revealed the play tactics when he said,
“We are instructing our defenders to first pass the ball to free the attackers. We have strong defenders who can easily play long passes - Rupinder Pal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Amit Rohidas - they have been executing long passes really well in the past few games. It’s a strategy we are working on and trying to improve, so that it benefits the team in the future games.”
The coach Reid has also been successful in improving the team’s ability to defend penalty corners. While five out of 15 penalty corners have been scored by India so far in the tournament, they have been able to defend 23 out of 27. The Indian captain added,
“Penalty corners is one of the main areas every team works on. So are we. In defence, we work really hard in the training on blocking penalty corners. We have really good players in our defence - Amit Rohidas blocked really well in the first four games. He made continuous stops with his legs, and then passed the ball. The better we are able in defending PCs, it will be better for us.”
India’s next match at the FIH Pro League is against Australia at Bhubaneswar, Odisha's Kalinga Stadium over the weekend. One advantage for the Indian team against the encounter with Australia is that coach Graham Reid has previously coached the Aussie team, which means he will be able to give some insights into the tactics of the Kookaburras.