New Delhi: India are set to take on Pakistan in the second leg of the four-match Friendship Hockey series, with the first match to be played on Monday. Altough Pakistan enjoys a 2-1 lead in the series, it would hardly be breathing easy as the Indians have performed better than expected even after missing stalwarts like Dhanraj Pillay and Gagan Ajit Singh. "In the first match we were all surprised as this Indian team played like a matured team. They are improving and are playing well at the moment," said Sohail Abbas, ace Pakistani forward and drag-flick expert. Pakistan though have a few injury worries with dangerman Rehan Butt and Muddasar Ali Khan being doubtful starters for Monday's game. Home advantage The Indians go into the decider looking to level the series and they would be banking on home advantage to carry their good work forward after their dismal performance in Athens Olympics. Indian team's coach Gerhard Rach, howeve, reminded the supporters not to have much expectations as the side is in the middle of a rebuilding process. And with the Indian Hockey Federation declaring free entry to the stadium, Monday's game promises to be a mouth-watering contest as the arch rivals play their first match in the capital after almost five years. Even though the Indian coach admits that Pakistan are a much better team on paper at the moment but the young Indian side backed by passionate home support will be a tough challenge for them.
Topics : Hockey