By Michael Nobbs
The 2014 Asian Games, officially known as the XVII Asiad, will host India's first game in the men's hockey competition on Sunday, and against minnows Sri Lanka, India should be in for some shooting practice 1:30 pm IST onwards.
Sri Lanka, ranked 40th in the World against India's 9th, will be an easy game for India. It will provide Sardar Singh's team with practice to fine-tune the team's attacking patterns that will be critical later in the tournament.
This match should provide opportunities to practice penalty-corner variations and basically plenty of goal-scoring opportunities. But it will be important for India not to be complacent or even take Sri Lanka lightly as important lessons that can help later in this tournament can be learnt.
I don't feel that Sri Lanka will test India's defence, particularly so any weaknesses that need to be looked at will not be apparent in this game. That calls for a keener vigil from the coaching staff to pick even the thinnest of weak-links that could prove critical against quality opponents.
India’s strikers Gurwinder Chandi, Akashdeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh should take plenty of confidence from this match and will have enough opportunities to win the game comfortably for India.
India have a very well-balanced team and they take that same balance into this tournament from the Commonwealth games. Experienced players Sardar, Gurbaj Singh and Manpreet should dominate against Sri Lanka and set the tone for the upcoming matches.
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Updated Date: Sep 21, 2014 10:37:30 IST