hardik out of world cup
Hardik was injured during the match played against England on 15 January. The Indian front line is already struggling and Hardik’s injury is a big blow for them. If India beat New Zealand, they will face defending champions Belgium in the quarter-finals. Rajkumar Pal has come in place of Hardik, who scored the lone goal in India’s win against Spain. Hardik could not play in the match against Wales. England and Spain had inflicted crushing defeats on Wales but the Indian team struggled against them as the frontline players were not at their best.
In the match against Wales, India could not follow their strategy from the beginning. Apart from the forward line, the defense too did not perform well and conceded two goals against a team that is ranked 14th in the world. In the absence of Hardik Singh, the performance of players like Mandeep Singh and Akashdeep will be crucial for India. India will surely start as favorites to win this match but New Zealand team cannot be underestimated in any sense. India had defeated New Zealand 4-3 and 7-4 in two FIH Pro League matches at the same ground in October-November last year.
head to head
New Zealand, however, is considered a tough challenger. Indian coach Graham Reid also said that New Zealand cannot be underestimated. Reid said, ‘The match against New Zealand will not be easy. They put up a tough fight in the first match of the FIH Pro League although the second match was a bit easier. We have to play our best game. A total of 44 matches have been played between these two teams so far, out of which India won 24 and lost 15 matches. Five matches were drawn. New Zealand last defeated India in 2019.
New Zealand lost 2–3 to Malaysia in their final match of Pool C. They beat debutants Chile 3–1 but went down 0–4 against the Netherlands. New Zealand have some world class players and India will have to be at their best to get past them. Defender Blair Tarrant, midfielder Nick Ross and veteran striker Simon Child are New Zealand’s key players.
the team is like this
India: Harmanpreet Singh (Captain), Abhishek, Surendra Kumar, Manpreet Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Krishna Pathak, Neelam Sanjeep, PR Sreejesh, Neelkant Sharma, Shamsher Singh, Varun Kumar, Akashdeep Singh, Amit Rohidas, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Sukhjit Singh.
New Zealand: Nick Woods (c), Dom Dixon, Dane Lett, Simon Child, Nick Ross, Sam Hiha, Kim Kingston, Jake Smith, Sam Lane, Simon Yorkston, Aidan Sarikaya, Joe Morrison, Leon Hayward, Kane Russell, Blair Tarrant, Sean Findlay, Hayden Phillips, Charlie Morrison.
The match will start at 7 pm Indian time.
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