Hockey

India to do mock drill of opening match

The Indian team is making best possible efforts to achieve its target in the Olympic qualifier, starting from Saturday.

Despite meeting the lowest-ranked sides (Singapore and Italy) in its first two matches, the Indian team is leaving no stone unturned. Before the tournament proper, chief coach Michael Nobbs has scheduled two practice games in which the players will go through a mock-drill to get a hang of things to expect in their opening engagement.

“We will replicate what we are going to do in the first match against Singapore. We will replicate the same routines, we will play with the same intensity and we will do the same things,” Nobbs told mediapersons at the National Stadium here on Thursday.

Nobbs assured that not playing any warm-up game against any competing teams would not hamper India's chances.

Captain Bharat Chetri also agreed with Nobbs. “We have played some practice matches with domestic sides. Anyways, our games against Singapore and Italy will be like practice matches only.”

Ace drag-flicker and defender Sandeep Singh also expressed confidence over the team's ability and said the defence had improved a lot after working with Dilip Tirkey. “Dilip's experience is priceless. He taught us something which we had never learnt from any coach. The defence has become better and in practice it appears good. We will know the exact improvement in match situations,” he said.

Nobbs said Sandeep had fine-tuned his skills after working with Tirkey. “He has become more mobile and his footwork has improved,” said the coach.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 9:12:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/india-to-do-mock-drill-of-opening-match/article2899914.ece

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