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Hockey: Tougher test awaits India in Spain

Sant Cugat del Valles (Spain): After a cruise against France, a tougher test awaits the Indian men's hockey team when it takes on Spain in a three-match series starting in Spain on Monday.

Both India and Spain put up a challenging performance in The Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup where they settled for a 1-1 draw. They had also met in the 2013 World League Semi-Finals where India had gone down 2-4 against the men from Spain in a position match.

While Indian goalkeeper P R Sreejesh will be guarding the net, Gurjinder Singh will be looked out for his drag-flicking skills after his brace which helped the team clinch the series in France.

Speaking ahead of the Spanish battle, chief coach Roelant Oltmans said: "The team is confident post the recent win against France. I have seen a significant improvement in the boys and they have immensely worked on their strategies and tactics by rectifying their mistakes committed in the last matches. Our defence is a huge strength for us and I hope we start the campaign on a winning note tomorrow."

Captain Sardar Singh added, "The aim will be to put pressure on Spain from the onset and work on all departments beginning with defence, ball possession and attacking strategy. I hope we continue the winning streak and confront the opponents confidently tomorrow."

India are ranked eighth in the FIH rankings and Spain 10th.

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