Preview: Great Britain vs India

GB defend a PC against Belgium at HWL2015

Great Britain have made a stellar start to this World League Final so far. Two wins in their opening two games, including a stunning win over World Champions Australia, before a hard-earned draw against Belgium earned them top spot in the pool and the chance to face host nation India in the quarter final.

Captain Dan Fox has been delighted with the progress of his side so far as they look forward to their quarter final clash:

“We’re really pleased with how the tournament has gone. The Australia game was a great performance and then we showed good character to hold on in a difficult game against Belgium. Everyone’s really stepped up on and off the pitch and everyone’s taking responsibility and playing their part in the preparations as well as their part in the game. It’s been a good trip so far. Of course if we play badly in the quarter finals it means nothing, so we’re very focused.”

Fox, a veteran of some 144 international appearances has played in front of crowds all round the world. He knows the prospect of playing in front of a partisan home crowd against India is a special occasion for any player:

“The crowds in India are so loud and excitable it’s incredible to play in front of them. It’s an exciting prospect. It’s a great place to play sport at the moment and everyone is interested in what’s going on which makes it really special to be part of this tournament. Playing the hosts in front of a passionate crowd gives this game some added spice. Every time they attack or do something good, the stadium erupts. It’s quite daunting for some people but also quite motivating. It should be a great occasion.”

India have yet to hit their stride in this competition finishing bottom of an admittedly tough pool. However the side who have risen to No6 in the world rankings are by no means a soft touch, a fact the Great Britain Skipper is all too aware of:

“It’ll be a tough game. India are capable of beating anyone on their day. They have some fantastic quick attacking players and can be very dangerous on the counter attack. The thing about India is they are really unpredictable. They can seem to be off form, and then turn it on and beat the best teams around.”

With India likely to be buoyed by the home support and with the talents of lively attackers S.V. Sunil, Ramandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh all posing a threat it is likely to be a very tough ask for Great Britain. However, the Captain is quietly confident his side can continue their fine form from the pool stages of this tournament:

“We’ve played well and we’re pleased with how we’ve done. Some people outside the group might be surprised but we’ve played lots of international hockey between us, despite the players we didn’t bring. This game is a massive deal and we hope that we can give a good account of ourselves and make our way into the semi-finals.”

GB vs India HWL

Watch all the action live on BT Sport from 13:00 UK time.

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