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Punjab duo out to put Indian in the driver’s seat

INDIA’S defender Harmanpreet Singh and forward Simranjeet Singh are having a great run in the Hockey World Cup.

The duo are from Punjab and both of them helped India to win the Junior World Cup at home in Lucknow in 2016.

The duo now have their names on the scoring sheet in the first two matches against South Africa and Belgium.

The 22-year-old Simranjeet scored a brace to steer India to convincing 5-0 win over lower-ranked South Africa.

He also scored one goal in the match against world No. 3 Belgium which ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw.

Harmanpreet is one of the top drag flickers in the world and he converted a penalty corner against South Africa and converted a penalty stroke against Belgium.

Harmanpreet said that it had been a dream start for India in the first two matches.

“We dominated the match against South Africa to score five times but our best match was against Belgium,” he said.

“We played to our true form and despite trailing 1-0 down we fought back to take a 2-1 lead before they equalised. It also feels nice that Simranjeet and I are having a great run in the World Cup as we both have contributed five goals in two matches.

“We want to continue our fine run by contributing goals in every match we play,” added Harman­preet, who has represented India 92 times.

Simranjeet, who only made his international debut for India in the Champions Trophy in Breda, Holland, in June, said it was always nice to score a goal against a strong team like Belgium.

“Belgium are the strongest team in our group and our chance of finishing top of the group looks rather good as we have a better goal difference against Belgium.

“We need a win over Canada to top the group and also qualify for the quarter-finals,” said Simranjeet, who has 26 international caps.

Simranjeet was the hero in the Junior World Cup in Lucknow as he scored the goal in the final against Belgium, which India won 2-1.

The Star of Malaysia

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