India, today, named their Junior Men’s Team for the 8 Nation Under-21 Tournament in Spain which begins on June 10, 2019. The tournament includes Netherlands, Belgium, GBR, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, hosts Spain and India as participating teams.Here are 4 hockey skills that will define India’s performance at the tournament:
4. Goal Saving:
India will do well to not allow their opponents enter their D and make any inroads onto the scoreboard. For this an iron tight defense with wall kind of Goalkeeping will be required.
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Indian Goalkeepers Prashant Kumar Chauhan and Pawan will have all eyes on them and how they hold the fort will make or break the onus for India.
In addition, the Indian defense needs to be strong enough to not allow even a hint of extra pressure on the goalie. Guarding the defense will be Captain Mandeep Mor, Pratap Lakra, Sanjay, Akashdeep Singh Junior, Vice-Captain Suman Beck and Parampreet Singh.
3. Dribbling and Short Passes:
Any team becomes good if the passes of their players are well connected. If Indian players are able to hold themselves well with well-targeted passes, they have all the chances to make it to the opponent’s half in a momentum that can create chances.
Dribbling is one skill that used to win Olympic medals for India, post 1975, their was a decline in three major skills in Indian Hockey: Dribbling, PC Conversion and passes. It has been decades that India has found it tough to get back to winning rhythm since then.
2. Chance Creation:
Winning a match required putting pressure on the opponents and creating chances. Here coming into picture is the Indian midfield which comprise Yashdeep Siwach, Vishnu Kant Singh, Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem, Maninder Singh, Vishal Antil.
The Indian midfielders will do well to support the strikers in creating chances for their team.
1. Goal Conversion:
If a team has to win the match, it has to convert all chances and half chances to be registered on the scoreline. While Indian midfielders will try to be well connected with the strikers in forward line, the forward line will have the onus in goal scoring.
Forward line comprising Amandeep Singh, Rahul Kumar Rajbhar, Shivam Anand, Sudeep Chirmako will have their task cut for the occasion.
Also key area in goal scoring is PC conversion which isn’t a great aspect of Indian Hockey in general, across all age groups.