Men's Asian Champions Trophy 2016 - India vs Pakistan Preview: Match Prediction, Time, Venue, Squads & Telecast info
India vs Pakistan preview:
India will take on Pakistan in their third game of the Men’s Asian Hockey Championship. This game should be the biggest of the round robin tournament and promises to be a thriller. India-Pakistan encounters have historically been gruelling for both teams and have also brought out the best out of them.
India has had a see-saw kind of a tournament so far, getting off to a dream start against Japan and having had to doughtily earn a draw against Korea. This puts both teams on a level playing field more or less with no clear underdogs.
While India are ranked 6th and Pakistan are 13th in the world and the defending champions, the difference between the teams might not be that evident on the field. Both teams have their weaknesses that are well documented in the Hockey world. Pakistan had failed to qualify for the 2016 Olympics and have had a tough beginning to this tournament as well. What is certain is that they will ensure nothing less than their best will be on display on the field today.
India will look to be clinical on all fronts, giving no chance to the Pakistanis who are well known for their mercurial game. They have proven time and again that they perform better under pressure and today’s game will be about that. It will be a test of nerves for all the players. India with its more seasoned setup and better match practice are the team touted to be the champions of Asia.
Of particular importance to India are P.R Sreejesh, Sardara Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh and Ramandeep Singh. These men are the bulwarks of this setup and their form will have a big impact on the team’s fortunes. Sreejesh’s terrific goalkeeping, Sardara’s silken touch and angles, Ramandeep’s bursts into the opposition’s circle and Rupinder’s drag flicking continue to remain invaluable.
India’s first two games have given them ample opportunity to test their skills - both attacking and defending. The draw against Korea is particularly important because they clawed back into the game with a late goal after trailing for the majority of the game. This tough game yesterday will hold them in good stead for today’s big clash and the remainder of the tournament too.
This game should be a beautiful demonstration of fast and attacking hockey with both teams being constantly at each other. It will be remarkable to see swift attacking play take on solid defense.
Goalkeepers – P.R Sreejesh (Captain), Akash Chikte
Defenders – Rupinder Pal Singh (Vice-Captain), Pardeep Mor, Jasjit Singh Kular, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar
Midfielders – Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Ramandeep, Sardar Singh, S.K Uthappa, Devindar Walmiki
Forwards – Talwinder Singh, Akashdeep, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Affan Yousuf
Goalkeepers – Imran Butt, Amjad Ali
Defenders - Aleem Bilal, Ammad Shakeel Butt
Midfielders - Rashid Mahmood, Tasawar Abbas, Nawaz Ashfaq, Fareed Ahmad, Toseeq Arshad, Mohammad Rizwan junior
Forwards - Mohammad Irfan junior, Umar Bhutta, Arslan Qadir, Ali Shan, Ejaz Ahmad, Mohammad Rizwan senior, Abdul Haseem Khan
Venue: Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium, Kuantan, Malaysia
Time: 15:30 IST
Live telecast: Star Sports 4, Star Sports HD4, Hotstar
Score prediction: India 2-1 Pakistan