CWG 2014: Indian eves face Black sticks test on Sunday

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 26, 2014, 18:39 PM IST

Glasgow: Having outclassed Canada in the lung opener, the Indian women`s hockey team led by Ritu Rani will be facing a sterner test when they meet a formidable New Zealand side in another group league clash here on Saturday.

Jaspreet Kaur was the star of the last match with two goals and the 13th-ranked team would expect that forward Ritusha Arya comes out firing on all cylinders against the `Black Sticks`.
New Zealand`s Anita Punt will be the player that India have to watch out for but skipper Ritu is confident that her girls will keep her under control.

"Victory in the very first match of the tournament has given a new dimension to the hopes and aspirations of the players. The team is in good shape and will perform its best in all aspects of the match," mid-fielder and captain Ritu said.

"The vigorous training we went through will help us to carry out well in the game and we will try not to concede goals and win by a better margin in the forthcoming match. "While we are high on confidence but we cannot take the opponents lightly hence we are focused and aim to add to the winning tally yet again."

Chief Coach Neil Hawgood is confident of his team giving a hard time to the opponents. "The team is in good form and their efforts are visible on the field. The girls are excited and will try to maintain the winning momentum in the event."

"We have worked on our penalty corner conversions during our practice session here today. The match against New Zealand will be a battle of wits and our team will be raring to prove their point yet again."

New Zealand eves stand fourth in the recent FIH World Rankings. India last met New Zealand in the 2006 Commonwealth Games where India overcame New Zealand 1-0. During the 2002 Commonwealth Games, India lost to New Zealand 1-3 in the preliminary round while they exacted their revenge in the semi-finals with 2-1 win en route their gold winning performance.