When the Indian women’s hockey team, which has been performing poorly for some time, takes the field against the Netherlands, which has been undefeated so far in the current season of the FIH Pro League, on Wednesday, it will face the challenge of regaining its rhythm. The Indian team’s performance has declined steadily since failing to qualify for the Paris Olympics.
The team’s performance in the ongoing Pro League in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela has been very disappointing. Under the captaincy of Savita Punia, the team has been successful in winning only one match in five matches in the current season. The Indian team has faced three consecutive defeats at home against China (1-2), Netherlands (1-3) and Australia (0-3). The team then made a comeback by defeating America 3-1 but on Monday it again faced a 1-2 defeat against China.
India will face the toughest challenge in its next match. Netherlands team is on top of the table with 27 points from nine matches. The Indians are currently fifth in the nine-team league with just three points from five matches. The Indian front line has had partial success so far, with Sangeeta Kumari, Vandana Kataria, Deepika, Navneet Kaur and Salima Tete scoring goals. The biggest blow to the team is the failure to convert the penalty corner into a goal.
After the Olympic qualifiers, the team got 21 penalty corners in five matches but not a single one of them was converted into a goal. To challenge Netherlands on Wednesday, players like Gurjeet Kaur, Deepika and Udita will have to capitalize on the penalty corner opportunities. Along with this, the team will need to strengthen its defense against penalty corners to avoid conceding easy goals.
After Netherlands, the Indian women’s team will have to play two more matches in the Odisha leg of the Pro League. The team will take the field against Australia on 17 February and America on 18 February.
Disclaimer: IndiaTheNews has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.