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Highlights Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2017, India vs Great Britain, hockey scores and updates: India held by Great Britain

India will hope to begin a new season on a strong note with a good performance at the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup -- beginning on Saturday -- which is seen as a precursor to the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final to be held in June.

FP Sports April 29, 2017 17:15:11 IST
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Highlights Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2017, India vs Great Britain, hockey scores and updates: India held by Great Britain

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Apr 29, 2017 - 17:10 (IST)

That's it from the Azlan Shah stadium in Ipoh. India now play New Zealand tomorrow on Sunday. After sharing points with GB, they would look forward to picking up three against the Kiwis.

Apr 29, 2017 - 17:09 (IST)

Not the result that India wanted but a well earned point for Great Britain: Arasu

Apr 29, 2017 - 17:08 (IST)

GB almost pulled it off at the end when they had a PC but Phil Ropers flick went wide. India have a lot to think. Even with more than 60 percent possession, they couldn't convert that domination into goals. They missed a few; made errors in the midfield and trapping let them down in the GB striking circle. Yet a lot to look forward to in the next matches for India. Scores for India: Akashdeep Singh and Mandeep Singh. Scorers for GB: Tom Carson and Alan Forsyth.

Apr 29, 2017 - 17:05 (IST)

AND THAT'S IT. THE OPENING MATCH BETWEEN GB AND INDIA HAS ENDED IN A 2-2 DRAW.

Apr 29, 2017 - 17:04 (IST)

And the PC flick is wide. Seconds being counted down as the scores are still 2-2.

Apr 29, 2017 - 17:02 (IST)

56 seconds left in the match and GB get their 1st PC in the match. Can they pull off a match-winner?

Apr 29, 2017 - 17:01 (IST)

After the video umpire says no PC, another GB attack and Koh points to a first PC for GB in the match. India asks for a referral.

Apr 29, 2017 - 16:59 (IST)

That was close as Surender clears but GB pull in another attack and now ask for a PC. Malaysian umpire Koh Eric goes to the video umpire. (01.07, 4th Q)

Apr 29, 2017 - 16:57 (IST)

One thing is for sure. GB's attacks have had penetration. And they haven't thrown away chances. India have themselves to blame if the match ends in a draw. Both teams now reluctant to attack mindlessly incase they loose the ball to a counter-attack. (02.52, 4th Q)

Apr 29, 2017 - 16:55 (IST)

GB swarming back and score the equaliser from a goalmouth melee. Ian Sloan finds an unmarked Alan Forsyth, who had the easiest task of puttign the ball pass a bewildered Sreejesh: Arasu (04.40, 4thQ)

Preview: India will hope to begin a new season on a strong note with a good performance at the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup -- beginning on Saturday -- which is seen as a precursor to the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final to be held in June.

Getting off to a good start in the season will be crucial in the lead-up to an all-important year where India also play the Asia Cup and Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneswar in the winter. The following year will see them compete at the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Champions Trophy and World Cup in Bhubaneswar 2018 slated for next year.

Highlights Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2017 India vs Great Britain hockey scores and updates India held by Great Britain

File photo of the Indian men's hockey team. Getty Images

Coming into this tournament, Roelant Oltmans-coached India had a 40-day long national camp where the players were put through a tough regime involving nearly five-six hours of intense training.

This year's edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, which is scheduled to run from 29 April to 6 May, will see England, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea vie for top honours along with India.

Having arrived here in Malaysia a week before the start of the tournament, the Indian team has had enough time to get used to the humid conditions and is geared up for a good start at the tournament, according to captain P.R Sreejesh.

"The team is doing well. We have trained every single day after arriving here and I feel we have had a good five-six days to acclimatise to the conditions here," said the ace goalkeeper.

India have picked four debutants -- defender Gurinder Singh, midfielders Sumit and Manpreet and goalkeeper Suraj Karkera. While Gurinder, Sumit and Manpreet were part of the Junior World Cup winning squad, the 21-year-old Karkera was in the junior India squad that toured England in 2016. Harmanpreet Singh is also another member of the Junior World Cup winning side.

Manpreet Singh will be Sreejesh's deputy and he will be joined by the experienced Sardar Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Harjeet Singh, Sumit and Manpreet in the midfield.

The defence includes Rupinder Pal Singh, Pardeep Mor, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh and Gurinder Singh while the forward line will feature SV Sunil, Talwinder Singh, Affan Yousuf, Akashdeep Singh and Mandeep Singh.

India will take on Great Britain in their first match on April 29. India last played them at the 36th FIH Champions Trophy in London last year where India won 2-1. "But it's a new team this year with a lot of youngsters. I think only about three or four members in their squad are senior players. But knowing the mental strength of the team, I know they will play with a lot of energy," Sreejesh pointed out.

"First match is always a game turner and we definitely want to start on a great note and the mood in our dressing room is very upbeat right now," said the 28-year-old.

The reason for Sreejesh's optimism also stems from the 2-0 win they tasted against Japan in their practice match on April 26. It was young forward Mandeep Singh who scored both the goals for India and according to chief coach Roelant Oltmans, the team's defence was "outstanding" in the match.

"It was good to win the practice game as it was the first time before the start of the tournament, we were playing against a different team as opposed to playing matches against our own teammates during practice sessions.

"It is good to get that winning momentum ahead of the start of the tournament and we will further discuss on our strong points and low points in the team meeting today (Friday). Our immediate focus is to play well against Great Britain on Saturday," concluded the skipper.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: P.R. Sreejesh (captain), Suraj Karkera.

Defenders: Pardeep Mor, Surender Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh.

Midfielders: Kangujam Chinglensana Singh, Sumit, Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh (vice-captain), Harjeet Singh, Manpreet.

Forwards: S.V. Sunil, Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Affan Yousuf, Akashdeep Singh.

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