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Hockey World Cup, India v England takeaways: Savita stars as defence impresses, Pool B tough to call

Hockey World Cup, India v England takeaways: Savita stars as defence impresses, Pool B tough to call

After an impressive build-up in the FIH Pro League, where they spent a few weeks in Europe playing high-level matches, India finally got their FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup campaign underway on Sunday. As per Savita Punia’s open letter, there was a good turnout in Amsterdam from Indian supporters and they got to witness a fighting 1-1 draw against England.

Here are the takeaways from this match:

Savita stars

Captain Savita Punia is aware that she has the ‘Save-ita’ moniker on social media but doesn’t read too much into it apart from calling it an honour. But on Sunday, she showed just why she is so important to the side. The match started with India on the front-foot more than England, but the better goalscoring chances fell the European side’s way. The first save of the evening was probably the best of the lot, with Savita putting out the stick to her right to deflect a shot away. The saves with legs and pads are usually a tad bit easier to make, purely based on the logic that the surface area to protect the shot is bigger. But this was a powerful shot, away from her, heading on target, but Savita’s reactions were so precise that it...

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