India vs Spain Live, Hockey World Cup 2023: IND vs ESP in World Cup opener

Potent attack, leaky defence but with some love and stability from coach Reid, India are ready for Hockey world cup

Indian hockey team. (Reuters)

A couple of days ago, as the towering stands cast their shadows on the turf and the wind chill pricked, the Indian team walked around 150m from their accommodation to the centre of the pitch inside the Birsa Munda Stadium and sat near the centre circle.

“It’s dark, no one else is there, just us,” Graham Reid, the India coach, set the scene.

For the next hour or so, they had a series of heart-to-heart conversations: veterans recalling their past World Cup experiences; new faces sharing their dreams; and all of them sharing everything they’ve been through as a group en route to the World Cup, where India open their campaign against Spain on Friday.

Reid never leaves anything to chance when it comes to prepping for a major tournament. Once, ahead of the Rio Olympics, he had the Australian players sit in a bus for nearly an hour to prepare them for a situation where their bus loses way, a bizarre situation that is not uncommon at the Games. [Read More]

Hockey World Cup: Coach Caldas says Spain are ‘well-prepared to debut against India in front of 20,000 people’

The Spanish Hockey team in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. (Twitter/TheHockeyIndia)

The 2023 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup kicks off in Odisha on Friday, and hosts India will take on Spain on the opening day in Rourkela. In the buildup to the marquee fixture, Spain coach Max Caldas has said that despite taking on heavy home favourites and a heavily partisan crowd, his side are well-prepared for the clash.

“We have a very diverse group, with youth and experience. We have penalties, goalkeepers, various resources for when the games don’t come to a head, and a great desire to be Spain and fight for the medals,” he was quoted as saying by MARCA. “The preparation has gone as we wanted and we are well-prepared for what is coming, also to debut against India in a stadium with 20,000 people.” [Read More]

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