Bhubaneswar: After having confronted two out of the top-Three ranked sides of their opening FIH Hockey Professional League 2020 encounters, World No four India shall be going through World No 2 Australia in two intriguing ties right here on the Kalinga Hockey Stadium on Friday and Saturday.
With two wins in opposition to the Netherlands in January, and one other one in opposition to reigning World and European Champions Belgium of their first match on February 8, the Indian staff climbed as much as No four within the FIH World rankings, and can financial institution on constant performances to shrug off stiff competitors from the FIH Hockey Professional League Defending Champions.
India are at the moment third on the FIH Hockey Professional League 2020 factors desk with a complete of Eight factors from their 4 matches, ensuing from two regular time wins, one shootout win and a loss to Belgium. In the meantime, the guests sit on the fifth place with 6 factors from their 4 matches, having received one match in regular time, one in a shootout, misplaced one in regular time and one other one in a shootout.
Forward of the match, India head coach Graham Reid stated: “I think we have played some very consistent level of hockey in our first four matches against the Netherlands and Belgium. We faced two of the top-3 teams in the world, and showed that we can compete at the highest level constantly. We are feeling really confident ahead of the matches against the No. 2 team in the world, and of course they are also the defending champions of the FIH Hockey Pro League.”
Concerning the temper within the Indian camp, and the areas that they’ve been engaged on, he stated: “I think the mood in the camp is very good. All our players are very confident after the performances they have put in against Netherlands and Belgium, and are actually looking forward to the matches. Apart from that, in the build-up to these matches, we’ve been working on our corners, and our key focus has been on making sure that we play with the same tempo throughout the two matches.”
Reid additionally spoke about taking part in totally different groups back-to-back within the FIH Hockey Professional League 2020.
“I think the challenge for everyone is that we have to keep going, again and again, every other weekend. So, it is the mental aspect that we need to focus on, and make sure that we are ready to front up to different challenges, because that will help us in preparing better for the Olympics as well.”
Australian Males’s Hockey Crew Chief Coach Colin Batch spoke extremely of India and the enhancements they’ve made.
“I think they have performed very well so far against two good teams. They missed the tournament last year, but they have managed to perform consistently in the four matches, and they have got some belief now in what they’re doing. Their confidence is growing and growing, but having said that, we are very confident in our own preparations, and are looking forward to two good games,” stated the FIH Coach of the 12 months 2019 (Males).