Perth (Australia), 03 November 2014: Gearing up to take on the world’s no.1 team, the Indian Men Hockey Team seems to be well in form as well as eager to take up the challenge tomorrow, when they open the four-match test series against the Kookaburras, at Perth Hockey Stadium, Australia.
In the tour for preparation of the upcoming FIH Champions Trophy 2014, scheduled to take place from 6th December – 14th December 2014, at Bhubaneswar, India, visitors has fielded youngsters like Lalit Upadhyay, Gurjinder Singh to give them exposure.
The four matches of the test series are scheduled to be played at 1630 IST on 4th, 5th, 8th and 9th November, 2014 at Perth Hockey Stadium. The live stream of the series will be available. Stay tuned here for updates.
The much elated young guns of the Indian Men Hockey Team look all set to face the Australian challenge coming their way. Pumping with enthusiasm these young talents are seen practicing religiously to put on an inspiring show in the upcoming matches against Australia and try to reserve a spot for themselves in the Indian Men National Hockey Team for the forthcoming tournaments.
The clashes between India and Australia in this tour are expected to see many on-field exchanges from the Indian division which is currently holding a power packed squad of 21 players, in order to put new experiments into action and trying out fresh talent on-field. The young squad is keen and focussed to learn and gain as much knowledge from this four-match series as possible.
Speaking on tomorrows match, Indian drag-flicker Gurjinder Singh said, “I have mixed emotions for tomorrow’s match, as I feel excited to be playing on an international platform and that too against Australia, at the same time a feeling of adrenaline rush to give my best in match and live up to the expectations of my seniors especially VR Raghunath and Rupinder Pal Singh. Lalit Upadhyay along with Mandeep Singh at the forward line and me at the defence line we all seek to take back some integral learning lessons from this tournament.”
Speaking on the opening match tomorrow, the Indian Men Hockey Team’s Captain Sardar Singh said, “Champions Trophy is an important tournament for all of us, as we will see world’s best teams fighting it out for the title. It is a good opportunity for the junior players as this four-match series is majorly going to benefit them by helping them learn the nitty-gritty’s of hockey at international level. The training sessions have concluded pretty well and the whole team is performing well as a unit. We are working on the finishing at all positions, be it defence, mid-field or forward. It’s good to see the enthusiasm of the junior players as they are really keen to learn more. We as a team do not hesitate in discussion any issue and help each other learn and work on each other’s weaknesses together.”
Speaking on the team’s preparations, Chief Coach of the Indian Men Hockey Team Terry Walsh said, “It’s exciting times for Indian Hockey being up against the best team. It is the best exposure for the young boys, as it will help them learn and grow. Playing against Australia is a bench mark and will bring out the best of the players. Training sessions have been going good so far and we are all growing as a team and it will be a good show coming up in this tournament.”
The Indian Hockey Squad for Australia Tour (November 2014):
Goalkeepers: P R Sreejesh (112 Caps) Vice- Captain, Harjot Singh (05 Caps)
Defenders: Gurbaj Singh (176 Caps), Rupinder Pal Singh (99 Caps), V R Raghunath (172 Caps), Briendra Lakra (83 Caps), Kothajit Singh Khadangbam (83 Caps), Gurjinder Singh (16 Caps), Harbir Singh Sandhu (30 Caps)
Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (109 Caps), S K Uthappa (54 Caps), Sardar Singh (197 Caps) Captain, Dharamvir Singh (87 Caps), Danish Mujtaba (123 Caps), Satbir Singh (12 Caps)
Forwards: Nikkin Thimmaiah(23 Caps), S V Sunil (149 Caps), Mandeep Singh (40 Caps), Akashdeep Singh (53 Caps), Ramandeep Singh (23 Caps), Lalit Upadhyay (06 Caps)