India look to seal hockey series against New Zealand
Having beaten New Zealand in back-to-back matches, India would look to continue their winning streak and seal the series in their favour when they take on the hosts in the fourth and final game here on Sunday.
Christchurch: Having beaten New Zealand in back-to-back matches, India would look to continue their winning streak and seal the series in their favour when they take on the hosts in the fourth and final game here on Sunday.
After losing the first match of the series in Nelson, India came back strongly to register back-to-back wins, leaving New Zealand stunned and searching for a victory against the in-form Indian team.
In the final game of the tour tomorrow, India will look to continue their attacking strategy and look for early goals to keep pressure on New Zealand.
The Indian forward line, led by Ramandeep Singh, displayed a brilliant performance as they pushed the Kiwi defenders to the backfoot throughout the series. Nikkin Thimmaiah, Akashdeep Singh and S V Sunil continuously attacked the Kiwi 'D' and did not allow hosts' defence to settle down.
They were well-supported by midfielders, led by captain Sardar Singh, who covered almost all parts of the field and kept the home side players busy. Dharamvir Singh, who scored the last minute goal in the previous match, S K Uthappa, Devindar Walmiki and Chinglensana Singh would look to continue with their control at the midfield in the final match also.
New Zealand will have to prepare themselves better to avoid three defeats in a row.
Speaking ahead of the final match, India chief coach Roelant Oltmans said, "The team is very positive after the consecutive victories against the home side.
"I have seen a significant improvement in the boys and they have immensely worked on their strategies and tactics by rectifying their mistakes committed in the first match. Our defence is a huge strength for us and I hope we conclude the final game of the tour on a winning note," he said.
Commenting on his team's preparation, captain Sardar said, "The team is now more confident after last two wins against the Black Sticks. The aim will be to put pressure on New Zealand from the onset and work on all departments beginning with defence, ball possession and attack.
"I hope we continue the winning streak and confront the opponents confidently tomorrow to come up as winners," said Sardar.