Hockey

Welcome break for the players

It was a welcome break for the Indian women on Tuesday after the back-to-back Tests against Azerbaijan.

Some of the players, including a few seniors who are making a comeback after a lay-off, are trying to get fully fit for the Olympic qualifier next month.

In the first two Tests, youngsters like Poonam Rani, Ritu Rani and Anuradha Devi showed good form and spirit as India won both the Tests convincingly. The experienced campaigners — Saba Anjum, Soundarya and Jasjeet Kaur Handa — too got a chance to assess themselves.

The margin of victory (3-0 and 2-1) does not clearly reflect the superiority of the Indians in both contests. Another heartening factor was the fine control and distribution displayed by the midfield, where centre-half Asunta Lakra and left-half Kirandeep excelled.

Areas of concern

However, one of the major concerns for the host would be the poor rate of penalty corner conversion. In the second match, India could score just once off the eight corners it earned. Poor finishing is another area the team needs to work on.

Coach C.R. Kumar, keeping in mind the qualifier, does not want to push the girls too hard in the current series. “We cannot peak twice in a short period of time. We need to peak at the time of the qualifier,” he said.

Kumar said he would like to give exposure to as many players as possible in the remaining two games.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 12:26:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/Welcome-break-for-the-players/article13369786.ece

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