Bhubaneswar: After opting out of the inaugural edition last year, the Indian men’s hockey team will take on world number 3 the Netherlands in the FIH Pro League opener at Kalinga Stadium here on Saturday.
With all the top teams of the world, including Netherlands, Argentina, Belgium, Australia, in the fray, the Pro League will be an ideal preparation ground for the world No.5 India ahead of the Tokyo Olympics later this year.
“It will be important to start strong and sharp in the Pro League with our first three encounters against the top three teams in the world,” India head coach Graham Reid said.
“Eyes would be on Rupinder Pal Singh and Harmanpreet Singh on penalty corner conversions, even though India has Amit Rohidas as the third flicker. It’s also the midfield that would be judged, consistency being the priority parameter. There is enough competition in the forward line with hopes circling on Mandeep and Gurjant Singh; a step behind in creating from the top of the circle would be Akashdeep Singh and Lalit Upadhyay,” a report in the First Post said.
The hockey match will be telecast live on Star Sports 1 HD and Star Sports 1.