Sri Lanka’s last-gasp win against Nepal has made India coach Stephen Constantine suddenly wary of his opponent on Christmas day.
“They play a defensive formation and will hit us on the counterattacks. They have some decent players and work extremely hard. There are no easy games for us. I expect Sri Lanka to give everything they have. We have to be patient and see what happens,” said Constantine speaking to the press after team’s practice at the Greenfield stadium on Thursday.
Injuries to certain key players have delayed Constantine from naming his final squad. “We lost Sandesh Jinghan, Lobo and Seitysen Singh. Anas pulled a hamstring and we had to release him too. Besides there are a number of guys whom we need to be careful with,” he said.
“I could have easily played Jhinghan and Lobo. They could have played in this tournament and their presence would have certainly strengthened my squad. But if I played them here they would have missed the next six months,” the coach said.
Constantine said that he was building the team for the future and was keen to blood a few youngsters in this tournament. Zuala from Mizoram, who is just 18 years old, is the baby of the team. Pritam Kotal, Narayan Das, Rowlin Borges, Pronay Halder, Holicharn Nazary, Gurpreet Sngh, Kaushik Sarkar and Sumit Passi are below 23.
“When I took I had to make a choice either continue with tried and tested players who are around 30 or rebuild the squad and I opted for the second despite being aware that I won’t deliver you immediate results,” he said.
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