Tirkey’s presence could have made the difference: Viren

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/h/hockeyindia.jpg' class='caption'> Viren Rasquinha said the absence of captain and senior most player Dilip Tirkey came in the way of India's win.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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Chandigarh :

Stand-in captain Viren Rasquinha said the absence of captain and senior most player Dilip Tirkey came in the way of India's win over Pakistan in the sixth hockey Test. India squandered five penalty corners to be held 1-1 by their arch-rivals, who now lead the series 3-1. "We missed Dilip badly. He was the only player who could take penalty corners besides Sandeep Singh. His presence could have made the difference," said Rasquinha. The keenly fought match, which the hosts dominated for most part, saw India blow away a number of opportunities before settling for a draw. Missing link "We did well to come back and equalise the score in the first half itself. But we failed to take the advantage of playing better hockey. A win could have given the side a great boost," he added. Despite the draw, that ensured that India could not win the series even if they win the remaining two matches, Viren praised his young players for putting up a great show. "It was great display. They are heading in the right direction. What they need is a little more motivation and some guidance," the stylish mid-fielder said. "I hope they play with the same spirit in the next two matches. Even if we can't win the series, a draw would be a perfect tribute to the players for their contribution," he added. Unfair calls Chief Coach Gerhard Rach said India were hard hit by some umpiring decisions that denied them the chance to take the lead. "We should have been given the advantage twice, but were denied by the umpire who made the same mistake in Peshawar and Quetta," Rach said referring to Amarjit Singh of Malaysia, the neutral umpire for the match. Rach also said that India played with a new game plan but complimented his counterpart Roelant Oltmans for his shrewd tactics. "We played with a new game plan today, but we must give credit to Oltmans for changing his plans too," said Rach. The German-born coach said India had too little time to work on penalty corners. Disappointing play Admitting that the side missed their most senior player Tirkey, Rach said "he is a class player and it's not easy to find a replacement for him." Pakistan striker Rehan Butt said that his forwards failed to recreate the magic that had downed India in Delhi. "It was a much better show in Delhi. But today the forward-line was totally off colour," said Rehan. The teams now proceed to Amritsar to play the seventh match of the series on Friday. (PTI)

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