Venue: The Astroturf Hockey Stadium, Ranchi (Capacity – 5000)
Date: 23rd January
Time: 2000 hours
Broadcaster: ESPN (English Commentary) and Star Cricket (Hindi Commentary)
The Ranchi Rhinos take on the high-flying Delhi Waveriders in Ranchi for the first time this season. The Rhinos suffered their first defeat away to the Wizards in their previous match and will be looking to redeem themselves with a strong result against Delhi. Delhi, meanwhile, won a thriller against Mumbai and are still unbeaten in the tournament. Ranchi, who have been termed as the tournament’s dark horse, have shown flashes of brilliance and are more than capable of toppling Delhi, but their midfield still remains a concern. Delhi on the other hand will go into the match full of confidence after coming out on top in their recent goal-fest against Mumbai.
Players to watch out for:
Ranchi: Moritz Furste - The marquee player and captain of the Patel-Uniexcel franchise will be the major threat for the Waveriders. Furste, who is currently said to be one of the best midfielders in Hockey, is the player Delhi will have to tame to thwart the constant wave of attacks he is capable of building and masterminding. Dutch striker Floris Evers, who is yet to open his account, will also be eager to make his mark and can be a dangerous customer if he gets going. Drag-flick specialist Ashley Jackson is also capable of turning the match around at any stage.
Delhi: Sardara Singh – The midfielder was once again at the centre of things in the win against Mumbai and was ever consistent with his passing and trapping, making beautiful long passes. Strikers Deecke and Norris Jones also seem to be warming up for the WaveRiders in what is a good sign, as they were highly profligate in front of the goal for the first few encounters. Drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh could also spring a surprise with his powerful strokes.
Form Guide :
Ranchi: Gregg Clark (South Africa)
Delhi: AK Bansal (India)
Score Prediction: A tough one to call with both teams almost balancing out each other but Delhi will be tough to beat and I go with a 2-2 draw.