Hockey

Inconsequential fifth Test match today

The four Test matches played against South Africa so far have provided an insight into the abilities of the Indian players.

Chief coach Michael Nobbs has gathered a good idea about the performers as well as the ‘passengers' even before the fifth and final fixture, to be played on Sunday.

The Australian had been trying out various combinations in order to give everyone a fair chance before picking the best side for the crucial Olympic qualifier next month. “Selection will be difficult for two, three spots. It is not about the players, but about the combinations,” he said on Saturday.



Chinks in defence



Chinks in the defence and inconsistent coordination upfront were two major factors that troubled India. Nobbs, however, was not unduly worried since the series was just a part of the preparations.

A few youngsters, such as S.K. Uthappa, Kothajit Singh (in midfield) and Harbir Singh (in defence), have impressed Nobbs, while promising striker Yuvraj Walmiki, coming back from an injury, has proved his fitness and keenness by playing two matches in succession.

Seasoned forward Rajpal Singh, who is yet to regain his full fitness, may find it hard to book a berth in the final squad. “Rajpal has a lot of hard work to do.

There are players who have got opportunities and done well,” said the coach. However, Gurwinder Singh Chandi, who is serving a five-match ban, may be considered for selection on exceptional grounds.

Nobbs has a difficult choice to make as far as the backline is concerned.

The coach, who has raved about drag-flicker duo of Sandeep Singh and V.R. Raghunath for their penalty corner conversion skills, has admitted that both cannot be fielded in defence at the same time.

In the inconsequential fifth Test, penalty corner specialist Rupinderpal Singh and striker Danish Mujtaba, who were out of action due to injuries, and centre-half Manpreet Singh will get a chance to prove their mettle before the selectors make up their mind.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 2:14:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/Inconsequential-fifth-Test-match-today/article13375429.ece

Next Story