Monday, July 21, 2014

Commonwealth Games: India face 6th ranked New Zealand in second practice game today




The Indian senior men’s hockey team will face 6th ranked New Zealand in their second and final practice game ahead of their Commonwealth Games campaign in Glasgow on Tuesday. The 9th ranked Indians will be feeling a lot better after vanquishing 5th ranked England 3-2 in their opening practice game. Akashdeep Singh, Vokkaliga Raghunath and Rupinder Pal Singh scored for India to put them in a right frame of mind ahead of the multi-sport event.

India will launch their Commonwealth Games campaign against 31st ranked Wales – the lowest ranked team in the men’s competition – on July 25. India are pitted in Pool A alongside Wales, Scotland, Australia and South Africa. India The Sardar Singh-led side then face 25th ranked Scotland the next day. The Blueshirts have a two-day rest before locking horns with reigning champions and world number one Australia on July 29. India will wind up their league engagements against 12th ranked South Africa on July 31.

The Pool B comprises 5th ranked England, 6th ranked New Zealand, 13th ranked Malaysia, 16th ranked Canada and 29th ranked Trinidad & Tobago.

It may be mentioned here that the Rajpal Singh-led Indians had finished runners-up in the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games, where they suffered a 0-8 humiliation at the hands of Australia in a ridiculously one-sided summit showdown.

India will be looking to build on their positives from their 9th place finish in the 2014 World Cup, where they toppled higher ranked Korea 3-0 in a classification tie.
 

The writer can be contacted at: suhridbarua@gmail.com

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