Indian junior hockey eves await China test (Preview)

Changzhou (China), Sep 8 (IANS) After registering two easy wins over North Korea and Singapore, India will be tested to the core when they face China in their third Pool A match of the seventh Women’s Junior Asia Cup hockey tournament here on Wednesday.

India hammered the Koreans 13-0 and followed it up by scoring a dozen against Singapore. However, they face a strong China team that also warmed up well with a 11-0 humiliation of North Korea.

“We have played supremely well in the last matches and hope to continue the momentum in the next clash against China. Each match of the pool phase is important as it will help us to perform more confidently in the knock-out phase,” India coach Baljeet Singh said in a release on Tuesday.

China is indeed a very strong team and the girls will have to stick to their strategies and continue to motivate themselves to play better from the last game played.”

The two teams met at the Volvo Invitational Under-21 tournament in the Netherlands in July where India lost to China 2-4.

However, ahead of the Wednesday’s match, the Indians have worked extensively at training to deal with China’s long passes and will aim to dominate the midfield to create maximum goal-scoring prospects.

India will depend on their captain Rani Rampal, experienced Poonam Rani and Anupa Barla in the attack, while vice captain Navjot Kaur, M. Lily Chanu and Lilima Minz will shoulder the midfield responsibilities.

Defenders Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo and Jaspreet Kaur are expected to play crucial roles in defence.

“I am really happy with the fact that we have won both the matches played till now. This has made us even more confident of playing the matches ahead. We intend to replicate the results in the next match against China,” Rani said.

“We aim for a better penalty corner conversion rate and make our attack even stronger in the match tomorrow. We will aim to carry out our game strategies firmly and look to win tomorrow’s clash.”

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