FIH Hockey Pro League 2021-22: India women's team all set for Germany challenge

The Indian women's team will face off against Germany in a two-legged affair on 12th and 13th March in Bhubaneswar.

Indian women's hockey team; Credit: Hockey India

Following the two-leg encounter against Spain, the India Women’s Hockey Team will face Germany in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22 matches on March 12 and March 13. The games will be played at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Before the game, India Women’s Hockey Team Captain Savita had her say on the opposition, as she discussed the Indian team’s preparations for the pulsating clash.

“We made a few mistakes in the second game against Spain. In the break we received between these two games, we have worked on those errors. We know Germany have a very strong defence, so we have planned how we can create attacking opportunities. We worked on the areas we need to improve upon. Our strength has always been attacking hockey – so we worked a lot on taking penalty corners and defending penalty corners,” Savita said at the pre-match virtual press conference, as per a press release.

India’s most recent encounter against Germany was at the Tokyo Olympics last year, where they were beaten 0-2 in Pool A. Since 2006, the two sides have fought each other five times, with India winning only once. Savita stressed the necessity of approaching the match against the World No. 5 team with a positive mindset.

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Savita on mental strength

“Since we have started playing against stronger teams, we have learned the importance of mental strength. It is a skill as important as your skills with a hockey stick. How we adapt to pressure situations can determine the results. We are happy to be given opportunities to face off against a strong team such as Germany and we hope we can showcase the strengths that we have worked on in the training,” Savita said.

Meanwhile, Deep Grace Ekka, India’s Vice-Captain believed that fitness can also play an important factor for the hosts in the upcoming matches. “Fitness will be an important key against Germany. We have improved our fitness levels a lot in the past few years. Now, we feel we can face any team that comes in front of us and win matches. Hopefully, we will deliver a strong performance against Germany as well,” Ekka said.

On the other hand, Germany will be playing their first FIH Pro League 2021/22 since losing both their matches against Belgium last year in October. However, Germany Head Coach Akim Bouchouchi has assured that his team is ready for the clash.

“After the games against Belgium, we had a break. In Germany, we play indoor hockey. Most of our players played for their clubs in their own leagues. We had one camp in Valencia for preparation and now we are here for four-five days in India to acclimatize ourselves to very warm weather. This has been our preparation and we are ready for the contest,” Bouchouchi said.

When and where to watch?

The Indian Women’s Hockey Team will play Germany at 17:00hrs IST on 12th March and 13th March respectively. Matches will be telecast live on Star Sports Select 2, Star Sports Select 2 HD, and Disney + Hotstar.

Sportslumo Desk

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