The stage is set in Antwerp, Belgium for yet another mouth-watering India vs Pakistan clash. The Asian giants will lock horns in their third pool ‘A’ match of the Fintro Hockey World League semi finals. India, having already qualified for the Olympics, will enter the field in a more relaxed frame of mind.
A strong start to their Hockey World League campaign with wins against France and Poland has seen India sit comfortably at the 2nd position in the pool ‘A’ table. Pakistan are yet to qualify for the Olympics and the HWL finals and hence will have extra motivation in this key India vs Pakistan encounter.
A glorious history beckons these two teams and all hockey fans and pundits are eagerly looking forward to the India vs Pakistan game, which is to be played on Friday, June 26. Here is a team-wise analysis which will help us understand the current form and expected team composition.
India vs Pakistan: Team-wise analysis
India: Aiming to avenge Champions Trophy defeat
Recent Form guide: Defeated France 3-2, Defeated Poland 3-0
The Indian men’s hockey team has performed exceptionally well but the India vs Pakistan game is as much a test of technique as it is of temperament. The Indian forwards still need to co-ordinate well and the conversion rate of penalty corners needs to be improved. With regular drag-flickers Rupinderpal Singh and VR Raghunath absent, Manpreet Singh has been the number one choice for penalty corners, though news coming in is that Rupinder will be back in action for this key game.
A huge positive for the men in blue is Sardara Singh’s form. The Indian skipper has played upfront in the two previous games and has added more balance to the attack. The Walmiki brothers, Devindar and Yuvraj, found themselves on the score sheet in the match against Poland and would look to carry on the good form.
Form guide: Defeated Poland 2-1, Lost to Australia 6-1.
Pakistan got off to a shaky start with a hard-fought 2-1 win against Poland. Their fragility in defense was completely exposed by the Australians, who beat them 6-1 on Wednesday. Pakistan will bank on the services of Muhammad Irfan and Muhammad Imran, who have been in good form. They have the right combination to beat India and would look to repeat their Champions Trophy heroics, where they won 4-3 in the semifinals.
Match facts: India vs Pakistan
Venue: KHC Dragons Stadium- Antwerp, Belgium.
Day and Date: Friday, June 26 2015.
Time: 7:30 PM
LIVE on: Star Sports 1, Star sports HD 1