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Malaysia won't take India lightly
March 14, 2006 20:25 IST
The Indian hockey team maybe missing three of their dependable defenders but Malaysia coach Wallace Tan insists his side would be pitted against a formidable squad when they hit-off their pool campaign at the Commonwealth Games on Friday.
Harpal Singh is ruled out of the Games with chickenpox while the team is also handicapped by the absence of the injured Dilip Tirkey, who did not make the trip to Melbourne.
Sandeep Singh and Kanwalpreet Singh are India's only recognised defenders and the side has sought William Xalxo as a replacement for Harpal Singh.
Still not prepared to underestimate the Indians, the former Malaysian international said, "It doesn't matter who they select. India are always a handful to contend with.
"India are an attacking side and even if they don't have all their best defenders, they can still hurt teams. On their day, India can beat the best teams in the world.
"So our job is to make sure our players do their best and not give the Indians too much room to hurt us.''
Malaysia had beaten India in the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games to claim the bronze medal.
Apart from Malaysia and India, other teams in Group 'B' are Pakistan, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago.
Group 'A' comprises Australia, New Zealand, England, Canada and Scotland.
Meanwhile, team manager Nur Azmi Ahmad confirmed that 1998 Commonwealth Games hero Roslan Jamaluddin has been dropped from team.
The goalkeeper, following a dip in form, was not included the initial list of 16 selected for the Games.
He, however, came along with the team to Perth, where Malaysia played and lost two friendly matches to Australia.
Unfortunately, Roslan failed to impress in those two matches and was unable to dislodge Nasihin Nubli Rahim and S Kumar as the men between the posts.
Malaysia team: Azlan Misron, Chua Boon Huat, Ismail Abu, Jiwa Mohan, Keevan Raj, S Kuhan, S Kumar, Logan Raj, Megat Azrafiq Megat Termizi, Jivan Mohan, Mohd Madzli Ikmar, Nasihin Nubli Ibrahim, Mohd Rodhanizam Mat Radzi, Amin Rahim, Nor Azlan Bakar, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil.UNI