Hyderabad: India will be experimenting new combinations to sort out “certain weaknesses” during their Afro-Asian Games opener against Egypt on Wednesday, chief coach Rajinder Singh said on Wednesday.
“We will try out new combinations during the match. Most members of the side have played in the Junior World Cup, so they would not have any problem in adjusting to new combinations,” Rajinder said.
“We have certain shortcomings which we need to rectify before The Netherlands series and the Olympic qualifiers in March.
“This will also give us the opportunity to experiment new things,” he added.
However, India, pitted in the Pool B, are not taking their African opponents lightly.
In the women’s section, India would start their campaign against South Africa after the organisers made wholesome changes to the schedule following last moment withdrawal of some countries.
“We are not taking Egypt lightly, who are an upcoming lot,” India’s goalkeeping coach Subbaiah said after the team’s practice session at the Gachibowli Stadium.
Subbaiah added the team management would be banking on captain Dilip Tirkey and the youngsters to come up with a creditable performance.
Thursday’s other matches see Pakistan opening against Nigeria while the Koreans take on minnows Ghana.
The 16-member Pakistan team is without ace penalty corner specialist Sohail Abbas and a few senior players who were rested by the Pakistan Hockey Federation, with the Azlan Shah and the Olympic qualifiers in mind.
The fourth match of the day will be between Malaysia and South Africa and it could provide some excitement.
Meanwhile, the Indian eves could not have asked for a better start and a couple of wins can ensure them a place in the semis.
Chief coach M. K. Kaushik said he has wary of Asian powerhouses China and South Korea who would most probably meet India in the knock-out stage.