Hockey: Indian women eye series-levelling win against Australia in second Test
Adelaide: Their tour off to a disappointing start, the Indian women’s hockey players will look to lift their all-round game to draw level in the three-match series with a morale-boosting win against world No.3 Australia in the second Test here on Saturday.
The tour, a part of India’s preparation for the Hangzhou Asian Games later this year, didn’t start as they would have wanted as the Hockeyroos put up a dominating performance to score a 4-2 win in the tour opener at the Mate Stadium on Thursday.
Australia pressed the Indian defence from the start but luck eluded them in the first quarter.
But the hosts got their footing in the second quarter and scored a couple of goals within a span of six minutes through strikes from debutant Aisling Utri (21st minute) and Maddy Fitzpatrick (27th).
The Hockeyroos scored two more quick goals in the third quarter, which came from the sticks of Alice Arnott (32nd) and Courtney Schonell (35th).
World No.8 India’s goal scorers were Sangita Kumari (29th) and Sharmila Devi (40th).
The Indians lacked cohesion and looked patchy in all departments of the game.
However, skipper Savita gave a good account of herself in front of the goal with numerous saves but got little support from her defenders as they often gave away the ball, enabling Australia to create goal-scoring chances.
The Indians will look to utilise the penalty corners that come their way as they wasted a handful in the first Test.
Sharmila Devi and Sangita looked promising upfront but lacked support.
India’s reserve skipper Bicchu Devi also made some good saves when she replaced Savita.
The margin of defeat could have been less had Navneet Kaur not wasted a penalty stroke in the final quarter and India’s chief coach Janneke Schopman would definitely be concerned about the missed chances.
The third match of the series will be played at the same venue on Sunday before India take on Australia ‘A’ in two more practice games on the tour on May 25 and 27.