The Telegraph
Wednesday , April 9 , 2014
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‘Will try new techniques’

New Delhi: With less than two months to go for the World Cup, Sardar Singh feels the five-match preparatory tour of Europe could help change India’s fortunes.

“We have decided to try out a few new techniques during the European tour. If we succeed, then we would definitely be a better side for the World Cup,” said the Indian captain on the eve of team’s departure.

The 21-member team will leave on Wednesday and will play five matches in Europe.

While two matches will be against World Cup hosts, the Dutch national team, two others will be against clubs teams in the Netherlands. India will also play against Belgium, considered one of the best teams in Europe.

“We will be experimenting with a new kind of swing of the stick while passing and hitting the ball. Previously, we used to play with bigger swings but now we may opt for deft touches,” said Sardar. “We believe it may improve our accuracy.”

The return of Gurbaj Singh, Sardar said, would strengthen the side. “We two have a good combination. He can play both as a defender and a midfielder. It would help,” the skipper said.

In the current squad, India have two new faces in defender Gurinder Singh and striker Lalit Upadhayay. Chief coach Terry Walsh, however, said there could be changes in the team for the World Cup.

Walsh said: “This trip will enable the players and staff to simulate and get used to major aspects for the upcoming World Cup. One of the most significant aspects will be playing on the same surface on which the Cup matches will be played.

“Our squad has been focusing on several key areas of performance during the month-long camp and the areas requiring fine-tuning will be identified for the final training phase leading to the World Cup.

“The experience of playing against purely European styles will be important for the team. Our ability to grow and display progression in our self-belief as an international sporting team will be under close scrutiny. We will be wiser upon our return, I am sure,” he said.