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'Series served as platform for us to test various combinations,' says Salima Tete on playing friendly series against South Africa

Published at :May 11, 2024 at 9:49 PM
Modified at :May 11, 2024 at 9:50 PM
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(Courtesy : Hockey India)

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The series was held in Bengaluru from the 3rd to the 11th May.

Salima Tete, who was recently appointed as the Captain of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team, shared her insights following an exhilarating six-match friendly series against South Africa, held at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) here from 3rd to 11th May. The series, showcasing intense competition, served as a pivotal platform for India to fine-tune their strategies ahead of the upcoming European leg of the FIH Pro League 2023-24.

The series witnessed an impressive performance from both sides, with the Indian team emerging victorious in four out of the six matches. Notably, the initial three matches saw the Indian team securing commendable wins with scores of 1-0, 5-1, and 3-1 respectively, demonstrating their prowess on the field.

However, South Africa fought back fiercely, claiming victories in the fourth [2-2 (2-4 SO)] and fifth [1-1 (3-1 SO)] matches. In the last match of the series, India defeated South Africa 4-3 in a shootout after the game was tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation time. 

Reflecting on the series, 23-year-old midfielder Salima Tete expressed her satisfaction with the team’s performance, stating, “The series served as a pivotal platform for us to explore and test various player combinations, leveraging the participation of all 24 members from our FIH Pro League squad. This collective effort not only enhanced our coordination on the field but also provided a comprehensive understanding of our team dynamics. 

We remained steadfast in our commitment to executing a pressing game style while adhering to the foundational aspects of our game structure. This approach not only honed our skills but also illuminated areas ripe for refinement and growth.”

The series also provided invaluable learning opportunities for the younger players within the squad. Tete commented, “Additionally, the series proved to be an enriching experience for our younger players, offering them invaluable insights into the intricacies of our team’s operations and the expectations placed upon them. It was a journey of discovery and development, equipping our emerging talents with the knowledge and understanding necessary to thrive in the competitive landscape of international hockey.”

Notably, the friendly series against South Africa has significantly contributed to the Indian team’s preparations for the upcoming European leg of the FIH Pro League 2023-24, which will take place in Belgium and England.

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The Belgium leg of the FIH Pro League is set to commence on 22nd May and conclude on 26th May, followed by the England leg starting on 1st June and concluding on 9th June.

The Indian squad is set to embark on a challenging journey, facing off against formidable opponents including Argentina, Belgium, Spain, Great Britain, and Germany, with each team slated to be met twice across both legs of the tournament. The Indian campaign will kick off with the clash against Argentina on 22nd May.

India, currently placed 6th in the FIH Pro League 2023-24 standings with eight points from eight matches, are determined to make a mark in the upcoming fixtures

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