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Need to focus on defence to beat Australia: Savita

By The Assam Tribune

BENGALURU, Aug 7: The Indian women�s hockey team vice-captain Savita on Wednesday said they will have to defend as a unit if they wish to beat big teams like Australia and win the Olympic Test event, to be held in Tokyo from August 17 to 21.

The Indian women�s team, currently ranked 10th in the FIH Rankings, will face tough challenges against the likes of World No. 2 and three-time Olympic champions Australia, China (11th) and hosts Japan (14th) in the Test event in Tokyo.

�We will be playing a very strong team in Australia against whom we played well in last year�s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. It was a tough defeat to take as we lost by a solitary goal, and it was also the semifinal of the tournament. However, we were proud of our performance,� said Savita, who is also the first choice goalkeeper of the Indian team.

�To match Australia in all departments was great. But this time, we need to make sure that we defend well as a unit, and not give them any easy chances. I feel defence will be key in determining who wins the upcoming tournament in Tokyo,� she added.

Savita said the team is now focused on a more balanced approach.

�We know we have a team which can attack and defend aptly depending on the match situations. We have the players who can help us in both the aspects.

�As a goalkeeper, what I try to do is help in organising the defence. Coordination at the back will be key for us going into this important year ahead.�

Savita said there is a great understanding and trust among the players as they have been playing together for quite some time now, and it will augur well for the side in Tokyo.

�We have a very talented bunch of players in our team. These players have been playing together for a long time. We understand each other on and off the field and it is something that helps us immensely to perform collectively.

�We also understand each other�s strengths and weaknesses. We help each other in crunch situations,� added the 29-year-old, who has 193 international caps under her belt.

She said the Indian women�s team is confident of sealing its place in 2020 Tokyo Olympics after its success in the FIH Women�s Series Finals in Hiroshima.

�In the past couple of years we have had the chance to play in huge matches, but there have been times when we have lacked a bit. But I think the team has improved tremendously and we can now match the likes of World No. 2 Australia,� she said. � PTI

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Need to focus on defence to beat Australia: Savita

BENGALURU, Aug 7: The Indian women�s hockey team vice-captain Savita on Wednesday said they will have to defend as a unit if they wish to beat big teams like Australia and win the Olympic Test event, to be held in Tokyo from August 17 to 21.

The Indian women�s team, currently ranked 10th in the FIH Rankings, will face tough challenges against the likes of World No. 2 and three-time Olympic champions Australia, China (11th) and hosts Japan (14th) in the Test event in Tokyo.

�We will be playing a very strong team in Australia against whom we played well in last year�s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. It was a tough defeat to take as we lost by a solitary goal, and it was also the semifinal of the tournament. However, we were proud of our performance,� said Savita, who is also the first choice goalkeeper of the Indian team.

�To match Australia in all departments was great. But this time, we need to make sure that we defend well as a unit, and not give them any easy chances. I feel defence will be key in determining who wins the upcoming tournament in Tokyo,� she added.

Savita said the team is now focused on a more balanced approach.

�We know we have a team which can attack and defend aptly depending on the match situations. We have the players who can help us in both the aspects.

�As a goalkeeper, what I try to do is help in organising the defence. Coordination at the back will be key for us going into this important year ahead.�

Savita said there is a great understanding and trust among the players as they have been playing together for quite some time now, and it will augur well for the side in Tokyo.

�We have a very talented bunch of players in our team. These players have been playing together for a long time. We understand each other on and off the field and it is something that helps us immensely to perform collectively.

�We also understand each other�s strengths and weaknesses. We help each other in crunch situations,� added the 29-year-old, who has 193 international caps under her belt.

She said the Indian women�s team is confident of sealing its place in 2020 Tokyo Olympics after its success in the FIH Women�s Series Finals in Hiroshima.

�In the past couple of years we have had the chance to play in huge matches, but there have been times when we have lacked a bit. But I think the team has improved tremendously and we can now match the likes of World No. 2 Australia,� she said. � PTI