The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Indians to play attacking hockey

New Delhi, May 24 (PTI): India embarked on a 12-day tour of Australia late Saturday night for a two-leg, tri-nation tournament.

Apart from hosts Australia, who will also field their A team in the tournament, India will face Pakistan in the event which will be held in Perth and Sydney.

Keeping in mind preparations for the forthcoming big events, India will be keen to use this opportunity to experiment.

The immediate aim would be to have a well-settled line-up ahead of the six-nation Champions Trophy. The long-term objective is to build the team for the Athens Olympics.

The Indians have already made it clear that they will be playing the Asian style of attacking hockey, which coach Rajinder Singh believes will be the key to international success.

He insisted that to beat the Europeans, who are good at penalty corner conversions, goalkeeping and hit-and-run strategy, India must revert to the age-old Asian style with an increased emphasis on attack.

“That is the only way we can beat the European teams. We can’t beat them by adopting European style of play.

“So now we are adopting the Indian style. The boys are also quite happy as this is the way they played hockey through the years.”

The 20-member Indian team, which is a blend of youth and experience, will play their first match of the tour in Perth against Australia A.

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