Indian Men’s Hockey team left for Australia yesterday to play two matches each against the Australian national team and Australia A and a lone game against the Western Australia Thundersticks club. The first match will be played on Wednesday. The tour, marked as a preparation for next month’s FIH men’s Hockey Series Final in Bhubaneswar, will be newly-appointed chief coach Graham Reid’s maiden assignment with the team.
India captain Manpreet Singh said playing against a world-class team like Australia will provide good exposure to youngsters and will boost the confidence of the team ahead of next month’s FIH Series Final. India needs to finish on top to ensure a place in the final round of the Olympic qualifier scheduled in October this year. India began its season with a silver medal at the 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia and will hope to keep up the good show.