Speedy Tigresses unfazed by facing India in Hangzhou

HANGZHOU: The national women's hockey squad do not fear playing India, one of Asia's top teams, in their second Group A match of the Hangzhou Asian Games at Gongshu Canal Sports Park Stadium here tomorrow.

National coach Nasihin Nubli Ibrahim said his team are determined to give their all against India, the silver medallists from the last Games and whose players have generally made 100 to 200 international appearances.

Nasihin said his team's confidence had also been boosted by Monday's 8-0 thrashing of Hong Kong in their opening match.

He said his side, who will welcome the return of skipper Juliani Din, would be adopting a different strategy against India.

"We will go all out to show where our women's hockey squad stand. There is no pressure on the players; we (coaches) only want the best from them," he said when met here.

Nasihin said the 9-0 drubbing they suffered at the hands of India in their last meeting at the 2021 Asian Cup in Muscat should not be used as a yardstick as the situation had changed.

"At that time, we had 12 players making their debuts, and the (team) structure was different. This time, it's a different squad, so the pressure is more on India, not us," he added.

Meanwhile, Malaysia's Nuraini Abdul Rashid, who has 131 caps, said: "India are very good, but we can give them a good fight.

"Nothing is impossible against India. We will give our best," said another senior player, Hanis Nadiah Onn.

India are ranked seventh in the world, while Malaysia are No. 18.

After India, the Speedy Tigresses will face Singapore on Sunday and South Korea on Tuesday to wind up their group campaign. – BERNAMA

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