Just two days before the India-Japan Test Series 2015, both the national teams of Japan and India reached Bhubaneswar today. It was the Japan team who arrived first at the morning with full strength and confidence to surprise higher-ranked Indian team at the Kalinga Stadium.
The Indian team arrived at noon after concluding a nine-day preparatory camp in New Delhi. Post finishing at 3rd position in the 24th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, the team is looking for a series win against FIH Rank 16 Japan. For India, the Test series will be in preparation for the upcoming FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final in Antwerp, Belgium, scheduled in June. While for Japan, the series will help them gear-up for the FIH Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to be held in June again.
Led by Sardar Singh, Indian squad of 24 players include youngsters like Lalit Upadhyay, Pardeep Mor, Harmanpreet Singh. Following a stellar performance in Railway’s gold medal at Hockey Nationals 2015, Yuvraj Walmiki will also be seen in the taking on Japan at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
Speaking after arriving in Bhubaneswar, Japan Coach Keonwook Kang stated, “The Test Series is a very good opportunity for our team as this series will help us to judge our player’s performance against a top team. We are preparing our team for the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires and this Test Series will give all the players a good chance to improve their skills. We have brought all the senior and best players here for the series and we will play with full strength. We had a 3-day preparatory camp before arriving here and we worked on various aspects of our team. Our team is looking good and we are all set for the Test Series.”
Commenting after arriving at Bhubaneswar, local hero Birendra Lakra said, “This India-Japan Test Series is important for us as it a good opportunity to build our team for the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final in Antwerp. In this series, all the players will get enough chance to improve their skills and work on their weaknesses. For the last few days in New Delhi, we had been practicing hard for the Test Series and now, we have to implement the strategies on field. We all are in good shape and we are hoping for positive result in the Series.”
The four-match Test Series will see a high-level contest between the two Asian teams in-front of the hockey-crazy crowd of Bhubaneswar. Indian will take on Japan in the 1st match on 3rd May 2015 at 07.00 pm, which will be telecasted LIVE on DD Sports.
The Indian team for India Japan Series –
GOALKEEPERS: PR Sreejesh; Harjot Singh
DEFENDERS: Gurbaj Singh; Rupinder Pal Singh; Birendra Lakra; Kothajit Singh; VR Raghunath; Jasjit Singh; Gurmail Singh; Harmanpreet Singh
MIDFIELDERS: Manpreet Singh; Dharamvir Singh; Sardar Singh; SK Uthappa; Chinglensana Singh Kangujam; Pardeep Mor
FORWARDS: SV Sunil; Ramandeep Singh; Akashdeep Singh; Yuvraj Walmiki; Mandeep Singh; Nikkin Thimmaiah; Satbir Singh; Lalit Upadhyay
Schedule of the India Japan Test series is as following (Live on DD Sports):
|1||03 May 2014 Sat||19:00||
|05 May 2014 Mon||19:00||India||vs||Japan|
|3||07 May 2014 Wed||19:00||India||vs||Japan|
|4||09 May 2014 Fri||19:00||India||vs||Japan|