The Junior Hockey World Cup will kick off on the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday and hosts India will look to defend the crown they gained in Lucknow 5 years again.
Though the crew’s preparations for the occasion have been hampered by the pandemic, the gamers are brimming with confidence following the senior crew’s bronze-winning feat on the Tokyo Olympics. Furthermore, with prime groups like New Zealand, England and Australia pulling out of the match due to the Covid scenario, the house crew may have their process minimize out as they start their journey in opposition to France at the moment.
The crew shall be led by Vivek Sagar Prasad, who’s hoping to make good use of the expertise that he gained as a member of India’s Olympic contingent and assist the junior gamers study from it.
Talking at a digital press convention on Tuesday, the 21-year-old mentioned, “I learnt from the massive stage learn how to hold the crew collectively and I am trying to implement it right here additionally. It is all the time crew first. Additionally, it is vital to remain collectively off the sphere and that may assist us carry out higher on the sphere as effectively.”
To information the crew, there may even be males’s chief coach Graham Reid and he’ll look so as to add one other feather to his cap after serving to India win an Olympic medal after a spot of 41 years.
Whereas the competitors shall be robust, the Australian sounded fairly happy with the best way the crew performed within the follow matches in opposition to the Netherlands, Germany and the USA over the previous few days. The juniors have additionally been taking part in with the senior gamers and that has been actually useful.
However the coach would not need to take their first opponents calmly. France’s junior crew had in any case completed runners-up within the 2013 World Cup in New Delhi after they misplaced to Germany within the summit conflict. “They are going to play like every European crew. They are going to be good at holding the ball. They are going to transfer the ball shortly and assault down the correct flank. In addition they have two good strikers who will pose a very good problem for us,” mentioned Reid in the course of the digital press convention.
Regardless of all of this, it should not be too robust a process for the Indian crew, who’re positioned in Group A together with Canada and Poland other than France.
The opening day will see 4 different matches with the opening recreation going down between Belgium and South Africa in Pool A. Belgium are the present World Cup winners in addition to the Olympic champions and they’re going to look so as to add one other trophy to their cupboard.
Germany, who play Pakistan on Wednesday, have gained the occasion for a document six occasions and are the opposite favourites other than Netherlands and Argentina. Pakistan, who’re participating within the occasion after lacking out 5 years in the past, as all the time would be the darkish horses.
Nevertheless, not like the numerous worldwide occasions which have taken place in Bhubaneswar within the latest previous, the match will go forward inside a bio bubble with out followers due to Covid protocols put in place.
It is unhappy that the gamers will miss out on the environment of a completely packed Kalinga Stadium however hopefully that will not cease them from giving their degree finest on the sphere for 60 minutes.