Why has Indian women hockey team Olympic ticket become difficult?

By Vipin - 2024-01-15 11:55:28
Why has Indian women hockey team Olympic ticket become difficult?

After losing to America in the very first match of the Women's Hockey Olympic Qualifier, the Indian women's hockey team has weakened its chances of making it to the semi-finals. Last year, in the Asian Games, the Indian team could not reach the gold medal due to the weakness of not converting penalty corners into goals and because of this it has to play in this qualifier.

The performance that the Indian team demonstrated a few months ago in the Asian Champions Trophy on this very ground was never seen.

Weakness in penalty corners became the main reason for the defeat

For quite some time now, the weakness of not being able to convert penalty corners into goals has been clearly visible in the Indian team. We all know that in current hockey, penalty corners play an important role in deciding the outcome of matches. The Indian team has been looking weak in this area for a long time.

When the Indian team was preparing for this tournament at SAI's Bengaluru centre, a five-day camp was organized by India's famous drag-flicker Rupinder Pal to improve in this area. He taught the players a lot from his experience. But no improvement was seen in this matter in the team. Rupinder Pal had organized a similar camp before the Asian Games, but even at that time this was the main weakness of the team.

One thing is clear from this that long term efforts are needed to remove this weakness. Anyway, making a good drag flicker requires a lot of work. This can be understood by looking at the drag-flicker Harmanpreet of the Indian men's team. Therefore, there is a need to employ an expert in this field on a permanent basis.

India wasted seven penalty corners in this match. Due to this, she could not succeed in creating pressure in the match. On all these occasions, Indian players tried to aim directly at the goal and were never successful in defeating American goalkeeper Bin Kelsey. To get better results from penalty corners, India will have to find more ways to take them.

The team is very weak in capitalizing on the opportunities given to it

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If we look at the match against America, it is clearly visible that in this match India got more chances to score goals but due to failure to utilize these opportunities, India had to face defeat. The reason for not being able to capitalize on the opportunities was that the cleverness required after reaching the circle was not visible in the Indian players. They were making good attacks and reaching the American circle again and again but were unable to hit the target correctly. Was not able to succeed.

One reason for this was that the player in control of the ball did not feel the need to check whether there was any other player in a better position than her to score a goal. For this, there is a need to create a selfless spirit among the players. This quality can be clearly seen in the Indian men's team.

The Indian team will also have to learn to maintain balance under pressure. The Indian team was seen trying to get the equalizing goal after falling behind by one goal, but due to not being able to convert these efforts into goals and the time running out, they started getting frustrated. As a result, many times players like Salima Tete and Sangeeta Kumari were seen wasting time by making individual attacks.

The frustration on the Indian players was so great that when barely one and a half minutes were left in the game, Indian defender Udita, instead of throwing the ball in the American half, was seen giving a parallel pass to her own goal, giving the American players a chance to hover on her own goal. Many times India also had to suffer the consequences of not having proper trapping.

Indian team needs to avoid panic

The Indian team somehow escaped America's goal in the first quarter. But when America took the lead at the beginning of the second quarter with a goal by Tamer Abagail, the Indian team became nervous. After falling behind, she made quick attacks in this quarter but due to not being able to control herself, she could not convert her attacks into goals.

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In current hockey, along with skill, mental strength is also very important. Indian captain Savita Punia definitely talked about being mentally prepared before the match. But this was not visible at all in the first half.

The Indian team needs to learn that it is very important to use cleverness after reaching the opposition circle, but in this matter the team looked weak.

Finish also needs improvement

The Indian team will have to learn to finish its attacks better. In this match, the Indian team was trailing 0-1 in the first half. But had the team finished the attacks better, it could have taken a 3-1 lead.

After conceding the first goal, India forced America to defend completely by focusing on attacks. In the last five minutes of the second quarter, India started attacking with good coordination. But there were at least three such occasions when the American goal could have been scored.

But due to haste, the Indian attackers could not succeed in converting these attacks into goals.

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Shopman's fortunes did not improve

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Indian head coach Yannick Schopman had come to India four years ago as the American coach and at that time America had to try to qualify. At that time, India had dashed America's hopes by conquering it. This time Shopman is the head coach of India, so her team's campaign has started with a defeat.

India is definitely shocked by this defeat, but if it wins the next matches against New Zealand and Italy by a big margin, then there can be a possibility of semi-finals. For this he will have to repeat the performance he did in the Asian Champions Trophy a few months ago.

Also Read: When does Pakistan Super League (PSL) start?

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