The newly-laid pitch at the Dhyan Chand National Stadium, the venue of the ongoing hockey World Cup, remains a cause of concern for the teams even on the fourth day of the competition.
The pitch is yet to settle down causing the ball to jump unexpectedly on certain occasions.
“I am not happy with the new pitches. I am not saying particularly about this one but also about the one used in Beijing (Olympics),” German coach Markus Weise said on Wednesday.
“It is not a superfast pitch, it is a little bit wobbly. You can see turnovers and unforced errors. When you expect the ball to come to you rolling and it jumps a little bit then it is gone,” Weise said.
Australian coach Ric Charlesworth had also spoken his mind about the unevenness of the turf. “The pitch is wobbly. It becomes a bit problematic to take penalty corners on such a surface. We missed penalty corners in the last match and we missed today (on Tuesday). Other teams are also facing a similar problem,” Charlesworth had said.
Dutch penalty corner exponent Taeke Takema had similar views too. “There were some troubles during the warm-up games,” he said. He said it was difficult to latch on to the ball and get into the rhythm as well.
According to Gregg Clark, the South African coach, the players are making some of the errors because of the turf. “It is a nice surface, it is spongy in nature. But it has not settled down. That is why the players are making some mistakes,” he said.
The remodelling of the stadium, also a venue for the coming Commonwealth Games, had started very late. However, the speedy work in the later phase of last year had helped the cause. Though the venue was inaugurated by Union Sports Minister M.S. Gill on January 24, a lot of work had been going on till the last minute to make it ready for the World Cup. It had forced the showpiece event to be held without a test event being conducted on the new pitch.