Hockey

Challenges galore for women's team

The Indian women's hockey team will face several challenges as it leaves for the World Cup, to be held in Rosario (Argentina) from August 29 to September 11, early on Saturday.

Mired in a sexual harassment controversy and distracted by the uncertainty over its participation due to the tug-of-war between Hockey India and the Union Sports Ministry, the team members now heave a sigh of relief that the hard-earned qualification for the quadrennial fixture would not go waste.

The unfolding of unpleasant events left little time for the players to train for the World Cup.

Besides, they are yet to get adjusted to the new set of coaching staff which has been appointed hastily following the exit of M.K. Kaushik.

However, one of the coaches, Pritam Rani Siwach, asserted that the side should not find it difficult to get into rhythm. “There is no time to introduce new things. The key would be to keep the players united and motivated,” Pritam said.

Experience will count

Pritam said her experience of playing with the team two years back would help. “I have the advantage of knowing most of the players and that should work to our advantage,” she said.

Coordination between coaches like Pritam, Sandeep Somesh and Sandeep Kaur would assume importance in the journey.

“It is true that we had very less time (to operate together). But we can get together and deliver the goods,” she said.

Acclimatisation is going to be an issue for the players as the team will reach Rosario just a week before the tournament.

“Other teams have started arriving in Argentina to help the players acclimatise well. We will get a few days and our players should get adjusted (to the climate) by the start of the event,” she said.

The Indian team will play three warm-up matches against some university sides before starting its campaign in the World Cup.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:29:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/Challenges-galore-for-womens-team/article16138939.ece

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