India men’s junior hockey team© Twitter
Indian hockey colts, after achieving victory in the men’s Junior Asia Cup earlier this year, will aim to maintain their remarkable streak when they confront their arch-rivals Pakistan in the opening match of the Sultan of Johor Cup in Johor on Friday. India are positioned in Pool B alongside Malaysia, Pakistan, and New Zealand, while Pool A comprises Germany, Australia, South Africa, and Great Britain. The previous encounter between the defending champions India and Pakistan in the Johor Cup took place during the Junior Asia Cup in June, where they triumphed over their opponents 2-1 and claimed the championship title for a record-breaking fourth time.
India will compete against Malaysia and New Zealand on October 28 and 30 respectively in the group stage.
The team must secure a top-two finish in the pool to ensure qualification for the semifinals.
“We will strive for a strong beginning to our campaign by defeating Pakistan and maintaining consistency in our performances, all the way to the finals,” said captain Uttam Singh.
“We will seek to implement our game plan in every single match to the best of our abilities.” The colts have had a successful year, winning the previous edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup, the Junior Asia Cup, and performing admirably in the U21 four-nations tournament in Germany recently.
The tournament will provide the team with an opportunity to test its combinations and evaluate the rival teams, who will also be competing in the FIH Hockey Junior World Cup 2023.
“This tournament will also serve as a chance to assess our standing against some of the top teams participating in the Junior World Cup as well. Therefore, the Johor Cup will also assist us in refining our tactics before the major tournament and position us to compete in the Junior World Cup,” added Singh.
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