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India had home ground advantage: Pakistan Hockey Federation

By IANS,

Islamabad: The Indian hockey team, which defeated Pakistan 7-4 in the Commonwealth Games, had the “advantage of playing on home ground”, making it “very difficult” to beat them, the Pakistan Hockey Federation says.

Reacting to Pakistan’s second successive defeat to India after the World Cup, Pakistani Hockey Federation secretary Asif Bajwa admitted that winning against the present Indian team on their home ground was “very difficult”.

“When both the traditional rivals play on neutral ground, then the capabilities of the Pakistani team will be seen. It is not correct to assess the team’s performance on the basis of one game only,” he said in an interview to the Urdu daily Jang.

In the coming Asian Games in China, the Pakistani and Indian hockey teams are in the same group and “here we will show how we can tackle the Indian team”, he said.

Bajwa said the federation is waiting for the chief selector’s report before deciding on any changes in the team.

“A decision on the future of senior players in the Pakistan hockey team will be taken after the manager and chief selector Hanif Khan’s report is received,” he said.

Khan is currently in India and any decision on the changes will be taken in consultation with him, he added.