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Sardar Singh, the pick of the crop (10/10/2009)
--Subhas Joshi
We at are happy to bring on the site report from Canada on the India-Canada First Test Match

s2h Special: Sardar Singh was the pick of the crop

The India-Canada 7-test Super Series kicked off on a chilly evening at the University of Victoria field hockey turf field.

Both teams began cautiously, working the ball around on their initial possessions and probing for weaknesses. As the game progressed, both teams began to make deeper inroads into each other's territory. In general, the Indian team had more success moving the ball down the flanks, and the moves often developed very quickly with the ball moving well from player to player.

The Canadian team had more success with penetration moves through the middle, often based on longer runs by individual players. It was a bit of a role reversal of sorts between the two teams considering their traditional strengths and styles.

The Indian team finally broke through in the 27th minute when Tuhar Khandker converted from the top of the circle at the conclusion of a move down the right flank.

In the second half, the Canadians attacked with a little more urgency, pushing more players forward to put pressure on the Indian backs. The pressure paid off on a few occasions and they earned a couple of short corners, but could not convert.

On the other hand, when India finally earned a short corner, Sandeep Singh delivered and put the ball in the net in the 66th minute to seal the match. In general, the game was relatively foul free and free flowing as partially reflected in the limited number of short corner opportunities, although there were occasions in the second half when play became a little scrappy.

The referees stepped in on a couple of occasions and handed out cards to keep control of the game. Dhananjay Mahadhik and Raghunath got a green card apiece. By controlling the proceedings, the umpires set the tone for the rest of the series to be played out over 2-3 weeks. Within the Indian players, Sardar Singh was probably the pick of the crop, manning the defense manfully and also controlling the ball, initiating offensive moves on either flank with pinpoint long passes.

Final score: India 2 - Canada 0

Indian 16 who played today: Adrian D'Souza, Raghunath, Sandeep Singh, Arjun Halappa, Prabhjot Singh, Sardar Singh, Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Sarwanjit Singh, Gurbaj Singh, Tushar Khandker, Rajpal Singh, Roshan Minz, Shivendra Singh, Bharat Chikara, Dhananjay Mahadik, Vikram Pillay

Canadian 16 who played today: Philip Wright, Ben Martin, Jesse Watson, Adam Froese, Ken Pereira, Wayne Fernandez, Peter Short, Rob Short, Connor Meakin, Scott Sandison, Ranjeev Deol, Keegan Pereira, Mark Erickson, Gabbar Singh, Curran Taylor, David Carter.

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good start
by Ramachandran S on 10/10/2009 1:55:52 PM
keep it up india, good start. Win all matches there, best of luck