India take on Australia in Azlan Shah hockey
A resurgent Indian team will take on world champions Australia in its opening encounter of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament here today.
While Australia is banking on their veteran players, India will look to unleash their new talent. India’s chief coach Michael Nobbs came here with a development squad, led by Danish Mujtaba, after resting six of his senior players, including inspirational skipper Sardar Singh for the tournament.
The tournament will provide some much-needed international exposure to some of the young names that came to the fore during the inaugural Hockey India League — Mandeep Singh, Malak Singh, Gurjinder Singh, Gurmail Singh, Amit Rohidas and Sushant Tirkey.
Australia’s coach Ric Charlesworth wants his team to live up to the high standards set over the years. “We have three players from our 2012 Olympic team and we are looking to achieve the high results that this group has been accustomed to over the last five years,” Charlesworth was quoted as saying on the International Hockey Federation website.