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'Vicious act': Australian coach lashes out at PR Sreejesh before 4th Test

PR Sreejesh and Australia's attacker Ky Willot were tangled up in a challenge during a practice penalty shootout being held after the 3rd Test match.

Vicious act: Australian coach lashes out at PR Sreejesh before 4th Test

PR Sreejesh in action (Hockey India)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 2 Dec 2022 6:29 PM GMT

Australian coach Colin Batch has initiated a war of words against India's goalkeeper PR Sreejesh ahead of the fourth match of the 5-match Test series between the two sides being held in Adelaide, Australia.

India beat Australia in the third match of the series to consign the hosts to their first defeat since the Tokyo Olympics final in 2021. As Akashdeep Singh scored the winner with under 60 seconds left, India also broke a 12-match winless streak against the Aussies, dating back to 2016.

However, controversy arose during the practice penalty shootout that was held after the match in preparation for the Hockey World Cup in January 2023.

India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh injured Australian forward Ky Willot while making a challenge, drawing furious reactions from Batch, Australia's long-time coach.

"It was a vicious act. The FIH and the regulations need to do something about that when a player deliberately takes someone out and injures them. We've potentially lost another player for the weekend," he said.

While Willott's availability is in doubt for the 4th match of the series on Saturday, Batch added that their star forward Blake Govers is going to be rested. Australia currently lead the series 2-1.

Speaking about India's win in the third match, Batch said, "It was really hard game and they definitely turned up. We thought towards the end when we overpowered them that we did enough to at least draw the game but we were very loose after coming up with the equaliser so there were some good lessons for us."

The last time India beat Australia in regulation time was in 2016 – a 3-2 win in a test match in Australia. The win helped India keep the series alive at 1-2. The final two games of the series will be played over the weekend.

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