Cautious of India’s ‘twelfth man’, New Zealand look to ‘affect’ the World Cup pre-quarterfinal | Hockey Information

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BHUBANESWAR: One factor that is still unchanged for overseas groups visiting Odisha is the packed stands. The problem goes past the enjoying discipline, the place communication amid deafening roars can change into an issue. On the ongoing Males’s Hockey World Cup, the decibels went a notch greater in Rourkela with 20,000 followers cheering on the majestic Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium. However the knockout motion has shifted to Bhubaneswar, and the Kalinga Stadium will bathe within the Indian tricolour when the hosts and New Zealand pull out all stops for a spot within the quarterfinals.
India selected to not apply on Friday, and on Saturday morning coach Graham Reid needed to lastly chew the bullet and ask for a substitute for Hardik Singh, whose World Cup ended due to a hamstring pressure.
However the Black Sticks got here out and went full tilt on Pitch 2 on the Kalinga Stadium complicated. By then the information of Hardik being dominated out was nonetheless underneath the wraps, and coach Greg Nicol mentioned they don’t seem to be simply getting ready for India with Hardik or India with out Hardik.
“He’s clearly an ideal participant, however India have gotten a number of nice gamers. So we want to verify we aren’t apprehensive about Hardik if he’s not enjoying. We simply must exit and carry out effectively,” mentioned Nicol, speaking to Timesofindia.com.
India have changed Hardik with midfielder Rajkumar Pal.
What Nicol meant echoed within the phrases of skipper Nic Woods, who hoped for his workforce to counter India’s twelfth man — the group within the stands — higher than they did within the Professional League matches right here final October.
New Zealand misplaced each the video games, however not with no combat. They threw a number of punches earlier than dropping 3-4 within the first match and 4-7 within the second.
“We’re tremendous excited to play India in India in such an necessary match,” mentioned Woods after the coaching session on Friday. “India has the twelfth man on a regular basis and it is the group. The gang’s been improbable, so loud. Each time there’s been a counterattack, we hear it. It (the cheer) is just a little bit daunting. We’ve skilled it earlier than. Fortunately, we have been right here for the Professional League. So yeah, we’re tremendous excited for this matchup.”
New Zealand have arrived to the World Cup with a bag of methods, and whereas a kind of backfired within the pool sport towards the Netherlands, Nicol mentioned they will not draw back from making an attempt a number of methods towards India.
The Kiwis tried to upset the Dutch by withdrawing their goalkeeper within the first quarter itself, however ultimately misplaced 4-0.
“We actually will (innovate) if we now have to,” Nicols mentioned. “If we predict we have to affect the sport, whether or not it is within the fourth quarter or the primary or the second quarter. We all know we now have obtained some issues that we will do.”
However for starters, New Zealand did not count on to be enjoying India, however their 2-3 loss to Malaysia meant they completed third in Pool C and can now meet the No. 2 workforce in Pool D, which has turned out to be India after the hosts have been pipped to the highest spot on purpose distinction by England.
“Clearly we needed to return second in our pool after we misplaced the sport towards Holland. We have been hoping to get a greater outcome towards Malaysia,” mentioned the NZ coach.
The guests aren’t additionally shying away from the truth that they entered the event as underdogs and are a creating workforce.
New Zealand’s solely win of the pool stage was towards the debutants Chile, with a 3-1 scoreline, after which they misplaced to the Dutch and the Malaysian.
“That is our mentality (being underdogs),” mentioned skipper Woods. “We’ve been working with that for some time. It is a good mentality to have. New Zealand is kind of small. So we’re at all times the underdog, at all times the little brother that is at all times making an attempt to combat.”

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