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Played Points
1 India 5 13
2 Korea 5 13
3 Malaysia 5 9
4 Canada 5 6
5 Japan 5 3
6 Poland 5 0
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Going into the Azlan Shah Cup campaign, Malaysia has introduced a new strategy that is indeed strange yet expected.
No they have not come out with a brilliant tactical approach that will catch their opponents off guard.
 
It has more to do with the fact that Malaysia is prepared to compromise on discipline then to stick to conventions that are good for the game.
 
In order to cover their administrative weaknesses, the MHC opted to "close one eye" ironically a phrase coined from a historical city where the lead character in the compromised discipline comes from.
 
A player refuses a national call up and is reported to be playing in the Hong Kong league. Do the right thing, did he get the sanction and if not throw the rule book at him.
 
Do we still live in the stone ages where communicationis via a messenger who will run to Hong Kong with a note and run back with a reply? Or is it a case where the pigeon with the note tied at its legs is victim to the bald eagle mid flight.
 
Looks like Malaysia takes a "char Kueh Tiaw" ( instant noodles ) approach off the pitch in order to do well on the pitch.
 
Compromising on principles is something one should never condone but when there is no honour among thieves then this is expected.
 
Back to the tournament proper, Malaysia has targeted winning the title for the first time and given the fact that Malaysia has made the final four times in 8 editions since 2007 is reasonable.
 
After all Malaysia is the most well prepared team and have played a lot of matches since last December.
 
Australia, India, New Zealand, Korea and Canada are going to use the tournament to blood some youngsters and try out some strategies that will serve them well in the World League semis.
 
So let's see what unfurls at the oldest invitational tournament over the next week.