Glasgow, July 24 IANS | 4 months ago

India's chief hockey coach Terry Walsh Thursday warned the team against taking Wales lightly in their opening match of the men's competition of the 2014 Commonwealth Games here Friday.

Though India, who are World No.9, are superior than Wales, who are ranked 31st, Walsh feels that Wales can trouble them with deep defending.

Both the sides will face off for the second time in the Commonwealth Games since the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games. The Welsh team is expected to concentrate on a strong defence while the Indians will be focussing on quick atttacks to start their campaign on a winning note.

"Wales will be seen full of enthusiasm but will probably play with a strong defensive mindset. The ability to create opportunities from congestion will be our major task, bringing penalty corners and then making those chances count will prove essential," said Walsh.

"The team is well placed and focused on the game that should create a good platform for our quest to finish in the top two of our pool. I expect Wales will be a very stoic and resilient team, our fast ball movement and swift transfers will undoubtedly be major weapons for us," he added.

Captain Sardar Singh said the whole team is pepped-up post the practice sessions and practice matches and is looking forward to a winning start.

"It will be the first time in 16 years that we will be playing against Wales and would not take the opponents lightly. I feel all the players at their respective positions are well prepared and more than ready to give this tournament a celebrating start," he said.

Failing to qualify for the 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games, Wales are making a comeback in the Commonwealth Games for the first time in 12 years.

David Kettle of Wales will be the player to watch out for while for India young Akashdeep Singh, who scored five goals in the World Cup, will prove to be a major threat for Wales.

(Posted on 24-07-2014)

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