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India keen to make amends
November 29, 2004 20:23 IST
The Indian hockey team will be looking to make amends when they take on Spain in the second and final hockey Test in Chandigarh on Monday, their last competitive match ahead of the Champions Trophy, starting on December 4, in Lahore.
A victory against the Olympic semi-finalists will give the home side a solid boost ahead of the prestigious six-nation tournament.
India have only themselves to blame for the 2-3 defeat in the first Test on Sunday as they squandered a two-goal advantage before going down, a fact acknowledged by both captain Dilip Tirkey and coach Gerhard Rach.
"We lost due to our own silly mistakes. We failed to settle down, especially in the second half. Their attacks were good but we also missed short corners in the second half, which cost us dearly," Tirkey said.
The captain was, however, optimistic that his team will plug the loopholes on Tuesday.
The Spaniards are also taking the match with all seriousness and captain Juan Escarre said they are looking to secure another win to go to the Champions Trophy with a positive frame of mind.
"We are satisfied with our win. We are preparing for the Champions Trophy and the conditions in India and Pakistan are similar. The two matches will give us good practice," Escarre said.
Incidentally, both the teams again meet on December 4 to start their campaign in the tournament and tomorrow's match will give them the perfect opportunity to assess each other's strengths and weaknesses.
The match will also provide the Indian coach an opportunity to test the youngsters at his disposal before the start of the elite event.
India have not made any changes to the 18-member squad that lost to Pakistan 2-4 in the eight-match Test series held a few months back.
The Indian team will proceed to Lahore via Delhi on December 2 while Spain will travel to the venue by crossing the Wagah border.