Match Preview: Delhi Wave Riders vs Mumbai Magicians
Venue: Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium, Delhi (Capacity – 16,200)
Date: 26rd January
Time: 1800 hours
Broadcaster: ESPN (English Commentary) and Star Cricket (Hindi Commentary)
The David vs Goliath match of the Hockey Indian League takes place, with both teams facing each other for the third and final time in the group stage this season. Delhi have been nothing short of brilliant and are the only unbeaten team in the tournament so far, while Mumbai on the other hand are the only team yet to register a win. Delhi’s strength has been their attack-line which has gelled well and troubled almost every opponent, whereas Mumbai boast the worst defence in the league and have failed to stop last minute attacks and penetrations. However, with the shrewd tactician Ric Charlesworth at the helm, it will be naive to rule them out of a semi-final spot just as yet.
Player to look out for:
Delhi: Rupinder Pal Singh - The defender has shown great composure at the back and has held the line very well in difficult situations and against superior players. His penalty corner conversions also have been good and he leads the scoring charts for Delhi, with three goals to his name so far. A bright Indian prospect, Rupinder seems to be getting better with every game and his error-free game is a sign of the same. The midfield duo of Sardara Singh and Tim Jenisskens is also very sharp and incisive with their passing, and they will have to be kept quite if Mumbai are to suppress the Delhi attacks.
Mumbai: Sandeep Singh – The Marquee player is the top scorer of the Indian Hockey League with five goals so far, and boasts a very good penalty corner conversion rate. Sandeep’s prowess with the drag-flick will be a constant threat to the Delhi defence, who will have to be very careful to not give away silly penalty corners. Striker Glen Turner also slowly seems to be getting into his rhythm and will be a constant threat upfront. Captain Liam De Young will have to be at the top of his game to keep the Delhi attack at bay.
Mumbai : LLLLL
Delhi : AK Bansal
Mumbai : Ric Charlesworth
Delhi are the overwhelming favourites to win this, but after the goal-fest in the previous match, predicting the score is tough. I’d like to go with a 4-2 scoreline in favour of Delhi.