August 17, 2005 Indian Express, India
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Having been pushed out of medal contention, an insipid India will desperately look to break the agonising sequence of debacles when they clash with archrivals Pakistan in the Rabo Trophy hockey tournament here tomorrow.
India have lost both their games in the tournament to European powerhouse Spain and world champions Germany and would now play classification matches for the 5-8 place.
Their body language so far has suggested that there is something grossly wrong somewhere. Most senior players look stale and jaded and there seems to be no motivation for the sparks to fly.
Even though India are not in contention for the top slots, a win over Pakistan could put them in the third place of their pool.
India?s coach Rajinder Singh Jr has expressed his displeasure at the showing of his senior players here. He is not the only one, as many of their Dutch fans here feel that perhaps the Rotterdam Junior World Cup squad may have given a better account.
Pakistan coach Asif Bajwa on the other hand is all fired up after the draw against Spain and was exuding dollops of confidence, saying ?we will win tomorrow?.
A do or die effort has to come from India with a coordinated and combined display of aggression by their forwards Deepak Thakur, Prabhjot Singh, Gagan Ajit Singh and Rajpal Singh.
FIH warns Pakistan team
The international hockey federation (FIH) has warned the Pakistan team regarding an incident involving their captain Muhammad Saqlain in a match against Australia in the Hamburg Masters tournament.
The report sent to FIH by tournament director Alain Renaud said that in the incident last Sunday facial injuries resulted to Australian striker Craig Victory which required the player to seek immediate hospitalisation and dental treatment. The FIH held a meeting today between the team was cautioned.
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