India vs Pakistan: Big Game, Only for Pride and Rivalry?

India Vs Pakistan, a big game, sometime bigger than tournaments, is in offing at Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium, Ipoh, Malaysia on 31st May, 2012 at 15.35 IST in the 21st Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. But more or less, it will not have much effect on the tournament results as both the teams are almost out of contention for a berth in Final, as the winner of India Vs Pakistan has very less chance to make it to finals depending on the results of other matches with permutations and combinations.

India Pakistan Flags“Is it really big and worth for such a hype, when both India and Pakistan, earlier power house of Hockey for decades, are struggling to make a respectable place in current times? India and Pakistan should make use of the status of their game, not only to make it source of their income (cause money matters) by playing regularly on home and away basis series, but also by collaborating for knowledge sharing as both sides play similar style of hockey.
Awaiting for outcome of next big game India Vs Pakistan in IPOH :)” Continue reading →

India in Race for Place in Finals of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

Indian team at Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is making progress with every match after they were defeated  by New Zealand with score board reading 5-1 in favor of the Black Sticks (7th in FIH Ranking). 10th ranked India bounced back to win (2-1) against formidable Korea (6th in FIH Ranking), but only to get defeated (2-3) by Great Britain (4th in FIH Ranking) in a hard fought match. In their 4th outing in the tournament, India defeated young team of hosts Malaysia (3-2) and kept themselves in contention for a spot in final. India will play Argentina (at 13:35 IST on May 30) in next match before taking on their arch-rivals Pakistan (at 15:35 IST on May 31) in their last match of league stage.

Good News for Indian Hockey Fans: Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is live on Neo Sports.

Neo Sports

Good News for Indian Hockey Fans: Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2012 is live on Neo Sports.

In the India’s third match of the campaign, Great Britain took lead in 29th and doubled it in 44th minute in well worked penalty corners through Glenn Kirkham and Ben Hawes, but India equalized through  Raghunath (PC) and Sunil (FG) in 56th and 59th minutes respectively, only to concede third goal of the game when Nick Caltin scored the winner for his team by putting the ball above advancing PR Sreejesh after latching on to ball from Mat Daly through Indian defenders on the top of semi circle. (Great Britain Beat India to Climb the Table)

Points Table till 27th May (Schedule/Results here):
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Change of Habits for India from Conceding to Scoring in Dying Moments?

The performance of Indian team has been improving slowly and steadily since last Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. India cherished some moments in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2011 when they defeated Great Britain, drew with last World Champions Australia, but to falter in second half of the tournament which includes Black Sticks’ biggest win against India 7-3 in league stage and finishing 6th.

Chief Coach Michael Nobbs

Chief Coach Michael Nobbs

The result of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2011 has changed a lot of things in Indian hockey (read on, including appointment of current Chief Coach Michael Nobbs. Under Nobbs, team’s performance has improved, which can be seen from the title winning performance at Asian Champions Trophy 2011 and qualifying for Olympics in style (defeated France 8-1 in final). But one area still needs improvement, i.e. India’s old problem of succumbing under the pressure in dying moments of game and conceding equalizer or losing goal, for example, the Final of Champions Challenge I in South Africa (lost to Belgium 3-4, conceded a goal in 70th minute), Semi Final of Asian Games 2010 against Malaysia (lost in extra time 3-4 after conceding equalizer in 67th minute). Similarly, India played well against Germany in Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament at Riverbank Arena, only to concede a goal in 65th minute and lost 2-1.  Continue reading →