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Hero Hockey World League Finals: Lacklustre India face uphill task against Germany

Sunday, 12 January 2014 - 4:49pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Spanked in their opening two games by their opponents, a lacklustre India face an uphill task to get their campaign back on track at the Hero Hockey World League Finals as they take on Olympic champions Germany in their last pool match in New Delhi on Monday.

India would be hoping for a much-improved performance against the mighty Germans at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, especially after their shoddy performances against England and New Zealand.

But for that to happen, the Indians will have to lift their games by leaps and bounds, which is looking pretty bleak in the present circumstances.

India looked rusty and completely off-colour in their opening two Pool A matches against England (0-2) and New Zealand (0-3).

The hosts cut a sorry figure in all departments of the game in the two matches they played in the tournament so far.

There was no co-ordination between the Sardar Singh-led midfield and the young forwardline. If that was not enough, the defence, India's perennial problem, continued to commit silly mistakes when put under pressure.

The eight-time Olympic champions erred in their basic skills -- trapping and passing the ball -- in the first two matches.

With the presence of three drag-flick exponents in the side in the form V R Raghunath, Rupinderpal Singh and Amit Rohitdas, India were regarded as a formidable force in penalty corner conversions but they failed to convert a single one in the last two games in spite of earning a handful of set pieces.

India's performances in the first two games had been a cause of worry for its chief coach Terry Walsh, who is guiding the side for the first time in an international event after taking charge of the team only in last November.

In fact, Walsh was livid with his wards' performance against New Zealand, terming it "sub-standard" and "unacceptable". 

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