Sports

Inconsistent India Shock Britain, Enter Semifinals Of Hockey World League

NEWS WORLD INDIA | 0
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| December 4 , 2015 , 14:02 IST
Inconsistency has been India's bane for a long time and the biggest task for Sardar Singh and Company would be to come up with a steady performance when they take on a dangerous Belgium in the semifinal of the Hockey World League (HWL) Final, on Saturday. [caption id="attachment_98621" align="aligncenter" width="700"]File Photo: Indian Hockey Team celebrating File Photo: Indian Hockey Team celebrating[/caption] After a poor start to the tournament - a 0-3 loss to Argentina - India produced a fine show to hold Olympic champions Germany 1-1 before dishing out another mediocre performance to lose 1-3 against title-holders Netherlands. But an unpredictable India then saved their best for the tough quarterfinal clash against world no.4 Great Britain and eked out a close 2-1 win to progress to the last four stage. The up and down showing is worrying India's chief coach Roelant Oltmans and the Dutchman was candid enough to say that he can't guarantee a consistent performance from his wards in the next match. "If you ask me whether we will be able to give a performance like this (against Great Britain) again, then frankly speaking I am not sure about it. But of course in the next two days we will work towards that," Oltmans said about India's inconsistent performance. Barring a few glitches, the Indians were near perfect against Great Britain yesterday. The hosts sparkled in all departments of the game to produce their best performance of the tournament so far. India's misfiring forward line finally showed some promise with Talwinder Singh scoring a fine field goal and Ramandeep Singh hitting the post on one occasion against Great Britain on Saturday. Young Mohammad Amir Khan too impressed with his performance. But what has been inspiring for India in this tournament is the performance of its midfield led by talismanic skipper Sardar Singh. The performance of the midfield, the link between forwardline and defence, is key to any team's success in international hockey and the likes of Sardar, Kothajit Singh and Manpreet Singh have stood up to the occasion. Defence has always been India's weak link and has wilted under pressure on numerous occasions. But against Great Britain yesterday, the backline managed to stand tall to thwart relentless pressure in the fourth and final quarter.