Hockey

Upbeat Lancers take on Waveriders

Kalinga Lancers, riding high on three away wins, has the edge when it begins its three-match home leg in the Coal India Hockey India League against Delhi Waveriders for first time in the tournament at the Kalinga Stadium here on Friday.

However, Lancers suffered a setback when Devendra Walmiki was declared unfit; he will be out of action for three weeks, effectively ruling him out of the rest of this year’s tournament, after injuring his shoulder in the match against Dabang Mumbai. In his place, Karnataka forward M.G. Poonacha will take the field.

Lancers, after five matches, is placed joint second with 17 points, along with Waveriders and Punjab Warriors, both of who have finished six matches.

Despite early loss to Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the inaugural tie, the Lancers regrouped admirably registering three wins, beating Uttar Pradesh Wizards 10-2 and Dabang Mumbai 4-2 and 6-4 in two games.

But the defeat against defending champion Ranchi Rays (2-3) will still rankle the team management.

Leading the home side will be the marauding Glenn Turner who is the tournament top scorer with 10 goals already. He will be supported by Adam Dixon, Lalit Upadhyay, Malak Singh and Stanli Minz in the attack.

There will be pressure on the defence too and a lot will be expected of drag-flicker Gurjinder Singh.

On the other hand, back-to-back losses to Uttar Pradesh Wizards and Punjab Warriors at home would have created a dent in the morale of Delhi Waveriders. A good number of penalty-corner fumbles by the drag-flicker Rupinder Paul Singh hampered the team’s progress against the Wizards.

Waveriders have to make an effort to fortify its defence too, and add more teeth and variety to its attack.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 8:54:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/coal-india-hockey-india-league-2016-upbeat-lancers-take-on-waveriders/article8194606.ece

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