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Deepika proving to be the perfect ‘Wingman’ for the team: Ritu Rani

 Team is aiming to rectify the mistakes made in the finals of CWG 2014: V R Raghunath

 image001Incheon (South Korea), 18September 2014: With just one day remaining for the opening of the 17th Asian Games 2014, both the Indian Men’s and Women’s Hockey teams are seen picking up pace and sweating it out during the practice sessions. Giving finishing touches to their play, the teams ready themselves to start the tournament with a convincing win in their respective opening matches.

 As the fast approaching tournament will be a deciding factor for both the Indian Men’s and Women’s Hockey teams to qualify for the Rio Olympics 2016, the practice sessions and practice matches being played on a daily basis are helping the teams to work on their weaknesses and refining their respective strong areas.

 Speaking ahead of their first match against Thailand scheduled to take place on 22 September 2014, the Indian Women Hockey team’s Captain Ritu Rani said,“While our Chief Coach Neil Hawgood is making us practice new skill sets and strategies to create more opportunities, defender and Vice Captain Deepika is proving to be a huge support for me as well as the team. Living up to her role and responsibilities, Deepika is holding the pack of defenders including goalkeeper Savita perked-up throughout.”

 She further added, “During the recently concluded Commonwealth Games it was observed that we were missing the possession of the ball in opponents D, therefore we are concentrating on rectifying such mistakes and improving our ball possession skills as well as converting penalty corner opportunities.”

 Preparing to face Sri Lanka in the opening match on 21 September 2014, Defender and Drag-flicker V R Raghunath said,“We have been working on the mistakes that we did during the Commonwealth Games 2014, especially against Australia in the finals. The team is also preparing to face the toughest of situations that might occur during the upcoming matches. During the last two days of our training we have been concentrated towards the footwork of the midfielders and defenders, to have good coordination to handle the pressure together.”

 Speaking on the new format, he further added,“The forward line will gain the maximum advantage from the new format of the game as these players will get time to rest and therefore will keep them in shape to generate maximum attack and creating more penalty corner opportunities. Here, we will try not to let go off any penalty corner opportunities.”

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