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Hockey team off to Malaysia
May 24, 2005 17:18 IST
After a short practice session at the Gachibowli stadium in Hyderabad on Tuesday morning, a confident-looking Indian contingent left for Malaysia to take part in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament, which began in Kaula Lumpur on Thursday.
The Dilip Tirkey-led team will bank on the experience of Len Aiyappa and Arjun Hallappa in the absence of formidable midfielders Viren Rasquinha and Vikram Pillay.
India will be hoping for a couple of good matches to improve their position in the prestigious seven-nation tournament as it had finished at the bottom in the previous edition.
New coach Rajinder Singh Jr dismissed talk that the absence of some senior members would have a bearing on the performance of the side.
"Everyone has to contribute. We can also rely on our strikers as we have a good forward line," he said.
The mid-field was however appears a bit weak with both Rasquinha and Pillay out. Skipper Tirkey said though it was a matter of concern, he has the confidence that other players would live up to expectations.