After the cricket teams of the respective nations clashed twice in the country, UK will be witnessing another India-Pakistan double-header in the Hockey World League semi-final. The two teams had met before in which India drubbed Pakistan 7-1. Since then both teams have had mixed results. While Pakistan won their subsequent match against Scotland 3-1, they were beaten 3-1 by Rio Olympics gold medallists Argentina. India, on the other hand lost 3-1 to Netherlands before falling to a shock 3-2 defeat to Malaysia in the quarter-final.
It means that the match against India will be a battle to finish in the top-six for Pakistan and earn a 2018 World Cup spot. India, on the other hand, have qualified already being the host nation. Pakistan have looked a much improved side since their defeat to India. They pushed Argentina in their previous match and will be looking to continue the same form against their arch-rivals.
The winner will finish fifth or sixth depending upon the result of this match and the one that will be played between China and Canada. India coach Roelant Oltmans did say that he was focussing on a potential semi-final clash with Argentina before their defeat to Malaysia and was “not even thinking of playing Pakistan again.” Pakistan keeper Amjad Ali has been at the forefront of a much improved defence while India missed a plethora of chances against Malaysia. “Certainly it won’t be 7-1. They got their chances against us in the first match and they scored against Argentina. So we have to respect Pakistan for their abilities,” Hindustan Times quotes Ramandeep Singh as saying.