India lose 0-4 to Australia in first Hockey Test

Last Updated: Wed, May 15, 2019 16:28 hrs
India lose 0-4 to Australia

A brace each from Jeremy Hayward and Blake Govers helped Australia beat India 4-0 in the first Test of the two-match series on Wednesday at the Perth Hockey Stadium.

Playing under new coach Graham Reid, it looked like a tough task for the Indian team to adjust to the new style of play and struggled to keep with Australia's midfield press. Australia won a penalty corner in the 15th minute and star forward Blake Govers converted to put the Kookaburras ahead.

Birendra Lakra came close for India in the 19th minute, but the deflection from his hit went wide off the post.

In the second quarter, Australia went 2-0 up when Jeremy Hayward's PC rattled the boards in the 20th minute. India went close in the 24th minute from its third PC of the match but Jake Whetton came up with a vital block to deny the visitor the opening goal.

The third quarter saw very little of goal mouth action as teams cancelled out each other in the final fourth. India looked more positive in its approach in the final quarter as Manpreet saw his shot from the edge of the circle parried away by Australia's custodian Johan Durst.

India went in search of a goal as some good work Vivek Prasad on the left put Jaskaran Singh through, but the debutant's shot was blocked by the Australian defence.

Mandeep Singh's shot in the 52nd minute earned India another PC, but Flynn Ogilvie put in a stick to prevent Harmanpreet's drag flick from heading into the right top corner.

Reid withdrew Krishan Pathak in the goal for an eleventh outfield player for the final three minutes, but the move backfired as Australia won a PC in the 60th minute.

As the new rules dictate that the eleventh outfield played will have no goalkeeping privileges, India was unable to prevent Jeremy Hayward from converting to put the host 3-0 up. Blake Govers scored a stunning strike from the edge of the circle in the second minute of the added time to make it 4-0 at the final whistle.