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Pakistan plan a few tricks for India

September 14, 2003 21:14 IST

Pakistan will have a few tricks up their sleeves for old foes India when the two arch-rivals lock horns for the third time in less than two months at the September 21-28 Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

"Our strongest opponent in the pool will be our arch-rivals India and we have to be at our best in that game of nerves which demands quality hockey for achieving desired results," the official APP news agency on Sunday quoted team coach Tahir Zaman as saying on the final day of the training camp at Lahore.

"During the training our focus was on quality attacks and not quantity. We also worked on group tackling inside the circle, making lesser mistakes in the circle and to create greater understanding and planning in re-counter attacks," he said.

Pakistan is drawn in Pool B along with Bangladesh, China and India in the eight-nation event. Pool A features Asian Games champions South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan.

The Pakistan coach said special emphasis has been laid on teaching players to sustain pressure in crucial situations as they did in a classification match of the Champions Trophy and beat India for the third place.

"If I am not wrong it would be another clash between the two giants of the Asian style of hockey and such a clash puts extra pressure on the teams," Tahir said.

When asked about Pakistan's chances in the Asia Cup, Tahir said, "Victory is in the frame of minds of players and the team would go all out to win the title.

"It is another important assignment after Champions Trophy and I firmly believe that the team is fully capable of winning the Cup," the former captain said.

"If they repeat the same performance as in the Champions Trophy, barring in a pool match against India, I do not see any reason for not claiming the title," he said.

The national coach said he would propose to the Pakistan Hockey Federation to make a plan to avoid players being fatigued or over-burdened from playing too much hockey without a break.

"We have a tough schedule ahead... We might be playing in the Afro-Asian Games next month in India and then there would be a break for three months. We would participate in Azlan Shah in January next and play Qualifying round for Olympics in March followed by the Olympics in August," he said.

"In my opinion we should have a camp of short duration after the Afro-Asian Games. The camp should have light training programme and main focus should be on theory. Players can be out of focus in long duration camps," he said.

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