Marlow, May 9: The Indian women hockey team’s preparations for the Rio Olympics went for a toss as the Ritu Rani-led side succumbed to a 0-7 loss in the final match to surrender the five-match Test series 0-5 against Britain here on Monday.
The Indian women’s team, which managed to book an Olympics berth after a 36-year hiatus, have had a lacklustre series losing all their earlier matches.
Going into the final match, the home team dominated from the very first quarter as Shona McCallin opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Britain won two penalty corners in the quarter, but were denied from adding to their tally courtesy some improved defence from India.
The second quarter saw another flurry of attacks from the hosts as the English women won two back to back penalty corners, but India’s defence held strong to deny them. India too had their chance to equalise via a penalty corner but failed to convert.
Just when it looked like the Indians were getting back into the game, Susannah Townsend beautifully converted a penalty corner in the 28th minute to make it 2-0.
Returning from the break, the home side won a penalty corner immediately which they managed to convert via Crista Cullen in the 38th minute.
Britain unleashed their attacking prowess as they managed to score another two goals in quick succession, one of them coming via a penalty corner by Kate Walsh in the 42nd minute and the other one by Helen Walsh in the 44th minute to end the third quarter 5-0.
In the fourth quarter, already down and out, the Indian girls failed to put up a fight as Susannah added two goals in the final minutes to make it 7-0.
Ace midfielder and captain of Indian Hockey team Ritu Rani said that it was an important tournament, especially in an Olympic year.
India is currently ranked 13th according to the latest world rankings.
Despite Australian coach Neil Hawgood exuding confidence about the team, it would be interesting to see how the side recovers for the Rio Olympics after the dismal show.
The Summer Games in Rio de Janiero will be played from August 5 to 21.