Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

India might have registered a convincing victory against Spain in their opening encounter of FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023. However, Men in Blue’s coach Graham Reid feels that the hosts will face tougher test against higher-ranked England in their second encounter at Birsa Munda Stadium in Rourkela on Sunday.

England are following an attacking instinct (known as ‘Bazball’ style of England’s cricket team) in the tournament which has fetched them a resounding 5-0 victory against Wales in their opening match.

Speaking ahead of the all-important clash, Reid said that England will be a tougher challenge than Spain. He further commented that India will have to continue their good work from the first match.

“We are up against England next and it will be tougher. They are ranked higher than us. We know how tough England are in the Commonwealth Games,” said Reid.

“So, we will try to continue our good work from the Spain match. We did really well defensively against Spain. We have to continue it,” he added.

England are ranked fifth and are above India and a victory on Sunday will help the hosts put one foot in the quarterfinal stages of the competition.

Meanwhile, India captain Harmanpreet Singh is hopeful that his team will be able to improve penalty corner conversions against formidable England.

“Spain is done now and our focus is on England and we are planning for that. Winning penalty corners is very important and we can be better in PC conversion. We are hoping we will do better in that regard against England,” said Harmanpreet.