Pak aim to break India jinx at Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

Pakistan are hoping to exploit absence of drag-flicker Sandeep Singh in the Indian hockey team to end their four-match losing streak against the traditional rivals.

Last Updated: May 09, 2011, 19:25 PM IST

New Delhi: Pakistan are hoping to exploit
absence of drag-flicker Sandeep Singh in the Indian hockey
team to end their four-match losing streak against the
traditional rivals, when they clash in Azlan Shah Cup league
match on Wednesday.

After recording two victories, Pakistan`s suffered
back-to-back defeats against Britain and Australia and are
hoping to bring their campaign back on track with win against
India.

Pakistan skipper Muhammad Imran said his side is
determined to see that they do not suffer fifth consecutive
defeat against India.

"We are fully confident of breaking the jinx against
India this time. The 5-1 loss against Australia will not
hamper our performance. Tomorrow is the rest day and we will
assess our mistakes and will do the best against them," Imran
said.

India had defeated Pakistan in the World cup, Delhi CWG,
Azlan Shah and Guangzhou Asian games last year. Pakistan,
though, clinched the Asian games gold and ticket to London
Olympic 2012 whereas India had a bronze medal finish.

Imran, the member of Pakistani team in all those matches,
said that the absence of drag flicker Sandeep Singh will make
a difference this time.

"In almost all the matches last year, Sandeep got the
initial breakthrough for India while our drag flickers could
not avail the chances. Sandeep is not playing this time and
out short corner is better than India. Sohail ( Abbas ) has
got immense experience," said the defender.

He though admitted that the players will face the heat
when they will cross sword with India.

"Naturally there will be pressure. There is pressure in
any India-Pakistan match. But it is wrong to say that they
have an upper hand because of previous four wins. This is new
match and what matters is the performance on that day," said
Imran.

When asked about any specific strategy against India, he
said that they will think about it tomorrow.

"Indian team is playing well, especially the young
Rupinder Pal Singh. Definitely our coach will chalk out a
different strategy for them," he said.

"We look this tournament as the beginning of preparation
for London Olympic 2012 hence there are many new players in
the team. But definitely we want to beat India to boost our
confidence," the Pak captain said.

PTI