By Michael Nobbs
Well, our first two games have finished. Our preparation was hampered a little. We arrived three days before the tournament and had three training sessions on a dry turf. Two practice games organised but were washed out, so we entered the first game a little underdone.
However, it is the same for all teams. Our first game against Belgium was a tough one. They are clearly a well drilled team and deserve their Olympic berth. We played well in patches but once again we let execution errors into our game. Sloppy play led to one yellow card in which they scored and two greens. All go to show we are still an undisciplined team. Once again we had numerous chances to score but the drills we use in practice failed to be used in game situations.
Sunil played today after arriving late due to visa problems and Gurbaz plays as well. He finishes his suspension which he got in the Perth series.
The game against South Africa can be termed a thriller but it could have gone wrong. We made use of the space but yet let them in with silly errors that gave them the opportunity. It’s good we raced away in the end to beat them 7-4.
I am a little perplexed with the tournament rules. At the end of the round games, all teams play a quarter final series. The teams that win go through to the semi finals and then to the finals. It's entirely possible to win no games in the rounds and win the finals as happened in the series in Ireland a few months ago. Very strange!
(Michael Nobbs is the Indian men's hockey coach)