New Delhi:One big win under the belt and another one beckons the Indian hockey team today, when they take on Australia in their second game of the World Cup. Will Rajpal Singh and his boys be able to beat the pre-tournament favourites?
The 4-1 thrashing of Pakistan added extra colour to Holi celebrations this time around for the Indian Hockey team but the job is far from done, up next for the hosts are pre-tournament favourites Australia.
Unlike India, the Aussies had to taste defeat in their opening match versus England which will undoubtedly make them a fiercer lot. Add to that the fact that India have beaten Australia just once in 5 World Cup encounters.
"Naturally they have lost their first match so they will come out like wounded tigers. We are working out our strategies. I believe there will be pressure on them as well, since they have lost their first match," said Deepak Thakur, Indian hockey team member.
Aussie coach Ric Charlesworth, who resigned as technical advisor of Indian hockey in 2008, is the man in charge of turning things around. The Aussie had asked his team to try and win every match 10-0 but an upset in the very first match has made him change his tone.
"I don't want to underestimate any team in our pool. They are all good, they are all dangerous, so we have to do really well to succeed and now it's an uphill task for us," said Ric Charlesworth.
What hurt the Aussies the most in their opening game was the missed chances. The World No 2 side managed to convert just 1 out of 13 penalty corners versus England while the Indians looked like a well-oiled machine versus Pakistan. Now it's just a matter of producing an encore.