Indian polo team looks for home advantage

By Soumalaya Santikari


Polo lovers in the Capital will get to watch top international players in action when India and Australia clash at the Jaipur Polo Ground on Sunday.

The teams will battle it out, on the occasion of International Polo Day, in a 14-goal match played over five chukkers.

The Indian team comprises Gaurav Sahgal, Vishal Chauhan, Simran Shergill and Navjit Sandhu and since it is a 14-handicap, a thrilling contest is on the cards.

Ravi Rathore and Himmat Bedla are in the reserves and the India coach KS Garcha said that the best possible team composition has been ensured.

Members of the Indian polo team that will face Australia, in New Delhi on Friday

Members of the Indian polo team that will face Australia, in New Delhi on Friday

Australia are coming to India after five years as they last played in Mumbai in 2008, a match they lost.

Their captain Dick Doolin was part of that team and hoped that he would end the day on the winning side on Sunday.

"It feels great to come back to India. I was here in 2008 and would love to be on the winning side this time," said Doolin.

His Indian counterpart Navjit Sandhu was appreciative of the efforts of the Indian Polo Association (IPA) for providing the best horses to the Australians.

"There will obviously be home advantage for us as we know the ground and are also familiar with the horses.

"But the IPA has ensured that the Australians don't face any difficulty in riding by providing them good horses," Sandhu said.

The Australian team will be a tough nut to crack as they finished fifth at the last World Cup.

The Indian team's youngest member, Gaurav Sahgal feels they are prepared to face the Australians.

The 22-year-old, who is a final year BA student at Hansraj College, said that he has grown up playing polo since his father Rajesh Sahgal is Delhi steward for IPA.

He has also played in leagues in Italy and New Zealand and was a reserve for the Indian team at the 2011 World Cup.

"Since my father is associated with the game, I took to the sport pretty early. My college has also been very supportive of my endeavours despite I travel for tournaments quite often," he said.


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