PREVIEW (By Uthra Ganesan)
On paper, India will be firm favourite to win, and win big, against Wales in its final Pool D match in Bhubaneswar on Friday. The gap between the two teams is evident in every possible way – ranking, experience, legacy, expectations, support. It’s the last two ones that will be what India coach Graham Reid calls dual-edged swords. That and the danger of crossing the faint, barely visible line between confidence and overconfidence.
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After playing their first two league matches in Rourkela, the teams landed in Bhubaneswar on Monday and have been sweating it out at what has virtually been their home for the past few years. The injury to Hardik Singh was a dampener but things are looking better for the youngster for future games. The 15,000-capacity Kalinga Stadium is expected to be packed and while Wales did face the crowd in Rourkela, this would be the first time the Welsh would feel the full force of it, playing against the host.
India’s defence has come good against tougher opponents so far in the competition and will be looking to maintain the momentum against Wales without getting complacent. The Indian forward line of Shamsher Singh, Abhishek, Sukhjeet Singh and Mandeep Singh will be looking to finally find their shots on target although it won’t be easy – the Welsh were overwhelmed in their first two games but not without a gritty defensive display. And India’s penalty corner conversion, the one area of concern for the host, will be tested. As of now, India’s actual win margin requirement will depend on the result of Spain vs England match earlier in the day.
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Of course, the best option for India vis-a-vis the other Pool D game would be Spain defeating England. That would not only see Spain leapfrog into second position but also leave India to manage just a win to top the Pool without bothering with the number of goals. Spain has had one win so far but the youthful side has been impressive in its confident and tactical play and will not be an easy opponent for its European rival. At the same time, England’s woes with penalty corners has continued, making any bets on the result of the face-off risky.
Played: 3 | India: 3 | Wales: 0 | Draw: 0
August 4, 2022: India 4-1 Wales (Commonwealth Games)
April 8, 2018: India 4-3 Wales (Commonwealth Games)
July 25, 2014: India 3-1 Wales (Commonwealth Games)
When and where will India vs Wales Group D match of the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup be played?
India vs Wales Group D match of the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup will be played at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Thursday - January 19, 2023.
At what time will India vs Wales Group D match of the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup begin?
India vs Wales Group D match of the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup will begin at 7PM IST.
Where to watch India vs Wales Group D match of the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup?
India vs Wales Group D match of the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup will be telecast live on Star Sports First, Star Sports Select 2 HD, Star Sports Select 2 SD. The same will be streamed live on Disney+ Hotstar.
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