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Hockey | Great chance for India men to return to CWG podium, start favourites against SA in semis


The Indians had been awarded the golden alternative after South Africa surprised defending champions New Zealand in their remaining match

The Indians had been awarded the golden alternative after South Africa surprised defending champions New Zealand in their remaining match

The Indian men’s hockey workforce would fancy its possibilities of not less than securing a silver medal from the Commonwealth Games as it’s going to start because the overwhelming favorite against a lower-ranked South Africa in the primary semifinal right here on Saturday.

The Indians had been awarded the golden alternative after South Africa surprised defending champions New Zealand in their remaining match to end second in Pool A behind six-time champions Australia.

India, however, completed on prime of Pool B forward of England to keep away from Australia in the final 4 rounds.

The Indians have been unbeaten in the event to date, registering three wins and a draw. South Africa, however, have recorded two victories and a draw and a loss every.

Going by present kind and world stature, the world no.5 Indians will start as overwhelming favourites against world no.13 South Africa.

India vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh has been in prime kind, main the aim scorers’ chart with 9 objectives. He transformed as many as eight penalty corners and scored one from the spot.

If Harmanpreet was not sufficient, the presence of Varun Kumar, Jugraj Singh and Amit Rohidas provides India a variety of variation in penalty corners.

While skipper Manpreet Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad have been the spine of India’s midfield, Nilkanta Sharma has impressed one and all along with his show in the event to date.

In the entrance line, the ever-reliable Mandeep Singh has been a livewire. He has not solely created alternatives however has additionally positioned himself in the proper place on the proper time to rating some tremendous poaching objectives.

In Mandeep, Lalit Upadhayay, Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Abhishek, the Indians boast of a threatening strike pressure and the South African defence can have to play out of their pores and skin to preserve them in verify.

The solely blot for India to date in the Games has been the match against England, in which they had been main 3-0 at one stage earlier than the lapse in focus and indiscipline allowed the house workforce to end the sport in a 4-4 stalemate.

India would look to put up a disciplined effort and keep away from pointless playing cards, which value them dearly against England.

Harmanpreet mentioned the bronze medal end at Tokyo Olympics imbibed self-confidence in the workforce.

“We learnt a lot about ourselves as a team at the Tokyo Olympics, which has helped us improve as a squad. But first, our target is on the match tomorrow and we are all set,” he mentioned.

South Africa, in the meantime, could be brimming with confidence after upstaging higher-ranked New Zealand.

South Africa is thought for sitting again and shocking its opponents with brisk counter-attacks.

“It doesn’t matter who we play in the semis, we’ll just focus on that game and see what happens,” drag-flicker Connor Beauchamp mentioned.

In the opposite semifinal, Australia will tackle hosts England.



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