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Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2016: India eye tricky Pakistan test

The key, however, is going to be star defender Rupinder Pal Singh
Tanuj Kar
ANALYST
Modified 11 Apr 2016, 16:10 IST
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As we arrive at the halfway mark of the league, it is the ever-anticipated subcontinental derby with India taking on their mighty neighbours, Pakistan.

Although recent run of form favours the Pakistani side, five-time champions India are currently ahead in the tournament, with two wins from their three games whereas Pakistan have managed only one.

Also read: Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2016: Indian squad, fixtures, time, and dates

Both sides squeezed 3-1 wins against Canada, besides facing thumping defeats against top side Australia.

POSTEAMSPLAYEDWONLOSTDRAWGDPOINTS
1Australia3300129
2New Zealand420258
3India3210-16
4Canada4121-24
5Malaysia3111-34
6Pakistan3120-43
7Japan4040-70

After a devastating show against Australia, coach Roelant Oltmans had emphasized on how this team needs to regroup, taking valuable lessons from their mistakes and identifying the gaps that their superior opponents had exposed. His clear approach seemed to yield fruit when the Indians impressed against a competitive Canadian side on Sunday.

However, there is little to no room for complacency as the Blues have still not performed at the top of their game, which is crucial for this team to attain with the Champions’ Trophy and Rio Olympics lined up this summer.

This can partly be attributed to the fact that the Indians have fielded a relatively inexperienced side in this tournament in an effort to strike the perfect mix between the seasoned seniors and the promising youngsters in contention.

Youngsters have been excellent

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Hearteningly enough, young drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh has risen to the occasion remarkably, having found the net twice already. In the absence of Sreejesh, goalkeeper Harjot Singh, too, has been in terrific form, which has been instrumental in keeping the tide India’s way so far in this tournament.

The key, however, is going to be star defender Rupinder Pal Singh. With a 70 yard-long magical pass that split the opponents’ defence to set up the first goal against Canada, he, alongside skipper Sardar Singh, will make the difference should the Indians succeed in collecting their 3rd win on the trot against a tumultuous Pakistani side on Tuesday.

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2016: India vs Pakistan 2016 Match Details

TV Channel: Star Sports 1/HD and Star Sports 3/HD 

Match Date: 12 March 2016, Wednesday

Match Time: 15.35 IST, 10.00 GMT

Match Venue: Azlan Shah Stadium

Team news:

India: Harjot Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh Jasjit Singh Kular, Kothajit Singh, Surender Singh, Chinglensena Singh, Manpreet Singh, Sardar Singh (c), SK Uthappa, Mandeep Singh, SV Sunil, Ramandeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Talwinder Singh, Akash Anil Chikte, Danish Mujtaba, Harjeet Singh

Pakistan: Imran Butt, Muhammad Irfan (c), Muhammad Imran, Syed Kashif Shah,  Fareed Ahmed, Muhammad Rizwan junior, Rashid Mahmood, Muhammad Waqas Sharif, Shafqat Rasool, Muhammad Umar Bhutta, Muhammad Dilber, Muhammad Rizwan Senior, Muhammad Azfar Yaqoob, Mazhar Abbas,Muhammad Toseeq Arshad, Ammad Shakeel Butt, Muhammad Kashif Ali, Ali Shan

Recent Form:

India: W-L-W

Pakistan: W-L-L

Published 11 Apr 2016, 15:27 IST
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