India try to reach the quarter-finals with a second consecutive win
Captain Harnampreet Singh will no doubt be happy that under his leadership India opened the 15th FIH Men's Hockey World Cup with a 2-0 win against formidable Spain. The world's number five team India will now try to beat strong England and reach the quarter-finals with their second consecutive win. After winning the second match, India will have six points from two matches in Pool D, they will top their group. India will have to come up with a new strategy in the crucial match against England on Sunday.
India got six penalty corners against Spain in the first match on Friday. Harmanpreet Singh, the world's most dangerous drag-flicker, could not convert four penalty corners into goals. Missing a penalty stroke will certainly force you to think afresh about your strategy. Against England, who have reached the semi-finals of the last three consecutive World Cups, India will have to come up with a different strategy in the crucial match of Pool D on Sunday. Against Spain, Abhishek was out of the match for 10 minutes due to seeing a yellow card, would like to avoid repeating this mistake against England.
India is looking forward to an interesting clash between England at the Birsamunda Stadium here on Sunday
His drag-flicker Liam Ansell played a key role in England's 5-0 victory over Wales, considered the weakest of the pool, on Friday. He scored two goals on the penalty corner. India's vice-captain Amit Rohidas as a rusher and goalkeeper Krishna Bahadur Pathak will have to show readiness for the first match against Spain to stop England's Asal from scoring. In India's midfield, especially Hardik Singh and Shamsher Singh will have to stop attacks from outside their own 25 yards by the trinity of strikers like Phil Roper, Sam Ward, and Bandurak Nicholas of England. In India's defense, captain Harmanpreet and Surender Kumar themselves, along with Amit Rohidas, will have to thwart England's attack. Apart from taking the full three points from the victory over Spain, India must have also learned a lesson that there is no scope for a single mistake on this biggest stage of hockey.
India needs to be fully alert every moment against England. A little relaxation can bring the Indian team to the floor. The good thing for India is that it completely dominated the first two quarters ie the first half. Odisha's two tribal Ranbankuros, fullback vice-captain Amit Rohidas, scored on a return ball from Harmanpreet's shot and fullback Neelam Sanjeep Khes, who was under question for his selection, scored a crucial penalty corner. The good thing for India was that Akashdeep Singh, the evergreen linkman, provided the ball forward for young striker Abhishek, experienced Mandeep and Lalit Upadhyay, both of whom helped in attacking Spain. In midfield for India, attacking center half Manpreet Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad with linkmen Akashdeep and Shamsher Singh moved the ball forward with the trio of strikers Abhishek, Mandeep, and Lalit Upadhyay helping to score goals and earn penalty corners. England's goal from both ends will have to be attacked from the beginning.
India defeated England last year
In 2022, both played three matches. The match was a 4-4 draw in the Commonwealth. The first match in the FIH Pro-League ended in a 3-3 draw. In the second match, India won 4-3. Talking overall, India has won 10 matches against England, while the England team has won only seven matches and is drawing four matches.