Published By: Ritayan Basu
Last Updated: May 24, 2023, 13:59 IST
Indian women’s hockey team’s Deep Grace Ekka (IANS)
Deep Grace Ekka said the focus would be on defence and not conceding easy goals as the Indian women’s hockey team look to bounce back against Australia A in their last two games of the tour
The Indian women’s hockey team vice captain Deep Grace Ekka believes that a strong defence line will be critical to the team’s chances of winning the final two matches of their tour of Australia as well as putting up a strong performance in the upcoming big tournaments like the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022.
Notably, the Indian team has played three games against Australia, losing 2-4 and 2-3 in the first two games, respectively, and coming from behind in the third game to ensure a 1-1 tie. In their final two games of the tour, the visitors will face Australia ‘A’.
The Indian team demonstrated brilliant attacking prowess in all three games, but they struggled to keep Australia from scoring goals. Deep Grace Ekka, the team’s experienced defender, commented on the same, saying, “Given that we played against a strong team like Australia, we produced a good show in the first three games, especially attacking-wise, but we conceded quite a few goals, which shouldn’t be happening. Hence, we are focusing on improving our defending in the next two games and ending our tour on a high by winning the remaining matches.”
“Also, if we ensure that we don’t concede goals easily, it will help our forwardline put pressure on opponents by attacking freely, which will ultimately increase our chances of winning games not only in this tour but also in our upcoming tournaments,” added the 28-year-old, who recently achieved a special milestone of completing 250 International Caps.
Deep Grace Ekka also aided India’s comeback in the third game, converting a penalty corner to tie the game after Australia took the lead.
Sharing her thoughts on scoring the equaliser, Ekka said, “It felt great to score that goal as it came at a crucial time and also helped the team make a comeback in the game. We started the match on a solid note and even kept most of the possession in the opening quarter to control the tempo of the match. However, we conceded a goal in the second quarter which put us on the backfoot, following which we were desperate to display our fighting spirit and find the equaliser. So, in that sense, I feel lucky to deliver it for my team when they need it the most.”
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – IANS)