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Bhaskaran lauds his forwards

June 19, 2006 19:07 IST

India hockey coach Vasudevan Bhaskaran attributed the team's rousing 5-2 victory over Malaysia in the Sultan Azlan Shah men's hockey tournament in Kuala Lumpur to the improved performance by the forwards.

"The victory demonstrated the fact that if our forwards can convert the chances, there is no reason why we cannot win," Bhaskaran said at the post-match press conference.

Bhaskaran said it is up to the strikers to earn victories for the team by cashing in on the chances.

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"Last night, against Australia, we missed sitters and lost, but today, our boys were far more confident. Their body language was good and we converted most of the scoring chances."

While underlining the fact that India have not lost even a single match out of the 21 they have played against Malaysia under his stewardship, Bhaskaran attributed today's strong performance to the reshuffling of the forward and midfield lines.

"I played an additional half-back in Arjun Halappa, while Tejbir Singh was in a withdrawn position instead of his usual inside-left spot. At times, I opted for just three forwards. I think, this strategy worked well for us," he said.

Malaysian coach Wallace Tan said the result was disappointing.

"We made too many mistakes in the deep defence and also allowed a lot of space for the Indian forwards. We had a chance at 2-3, but the last two goals took the game away from us. Hopefully, we will be able to perform better against Australia on Wednesday," he said.

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