Saturday, April 9, 2016

Unpredictable Malaysia

AUSTRALIAN coach Graham Reid was a little surprised when he saw a totally transformed Malaysian team in Ipoh, from the one which his World No 1 side toyed around in the recent Tests.
  Malaysia were thrashed 7-1, 5-0 and 4-0 in the Tests, about three weeks ago, where Reid saw 'some youth with some potential and skills'.
  "After watching them play New Zealand (3-3) and Japan (4-3), I notice this team is playing totally different from the one we played in the recent Test matches.
  "In Ipoh they are more organised, committed, and play with zest," said Reid.
  The Australian coach attributed the change to home fans, who seem to push them to the limit.
  "We always relish playing in the Azlan Shah Cup, especially against Malaysia, because the packed stadium, drums and vuvuzela noise seems to spur the hosts.
  "Australia also need to get adjusted to these type of cheering as we will soon be playing in the Olympics, which i expect to be watched by capacity crowds as well," said Reid.
  Last year, Australia could only beat Malaysia 3-2 in the pool match, with the winner coming in the 59th minute.
  National coach Stephen van Huizen said: "One can never prepare for a match against Australia as even though the team closes almost all holes, they have a knack of finding the smallest of cracks to score.
  "Having said that, we have played some good Test matches against them recently, and we hope to give them a good fight."
  And what makes the Australians, favourite to play in the final of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics so special?
  "Culture. Its an inbuilt thing from our previous players who just refused to be beaten and this attitude has been passed down to the present team.
  "Also, there are 30 other players who are capable of replacing me back home waiting for their break, and so, I'm not about to give it to them. This keeps all of us on our toes every minute of every match," said Australian skipper Mark Knowles.


             P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
MALAYSIA     2  1  1  0  7  6  4
AUSTRALIA    1  1  0  0  5  1  3
PAKISTAN     1  1  0  0  3  1  3
INDIA        2  1  0  1  3  6  3
N ZEALAND    2  0  2  0  4  4  2
CANADA       2  0  1  1  2  4  1
JAPAN        2  0  0  2  4  6  0

  April 8: REST DAY.
  April 9: Japan v Canada (4pm), New Zealand v Pakistan (6pm), Malaysia v Australia (8.35pm).
  April 10: Japan v New Zealand (4pm), Australia v Pakistan (6pm), Canada v India (8.35pm).