World No 5 India will battle it out against world No 1 Australia in a five-match series starting in Adelaide from Saturday. The two teams have played each other twice since 2021, with Australia coming out as winners on both occasions.
They had met at the Tokyo Olympics, where India finished with bronze and Australia won silver, and in the final of the Commonwealth Games.
Talking about the upcoming series, Indian men’s hockey chief coach Graham Reid said, “There is no better place to come than Australia for preparation for the World Cup.
“Australia’s way of play is very grounded in India. What’s great about this series is that both teams get to learn about the different skills that both bring to the table,” Reid added during a pre-match press conference held in Adelaide.
With the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar – Rourkela less than 50 days away, captain Harmanpreet Singh highlighted that each match against Australia will prove vital in their preparations for the marquee event at home.
“This series is really important for us. When you are preparing for a mega event like the World Cup, it’s always good to play against the best in the lead up,” expressed the ace dragflicker.
He further stated his excitement of playing in Adelaide. “It is great to be in Australia after so many years. Due to Covid we couldn’t travel here, there are many passionate Indian hockey fans here and we always love playing in front of them. I am looking forward to good matches here,” Harmanpreet stated.
Colin Batch, the seasoned Australian head coach, who was also present at the press conference said, “This series is really important for us coming up to the World Cup in January. It’s great that India are here. We love playing against them and this will be great competition for us.
India is a really strong team and these will be the only matches we will play before the World Cup, so we’re delighted to have a team of India’s calibre to play against.
“We feel like we can take some strong steps in our preparation for the World Cup. Unlike the Olympics where we had 6-7 months training together, we haven’t had that leading up to the World Cup so the importance of these matches, the meetings and trainings we have between now and then will hopefully enable us to reach that level again,” Batch opined.
Matches will be live on Star Sports First, Star Sports Select 1 SD and Star Sports Select 1 HD ok linear TV. Disney + Hotstar will also stream the matches live.
Match 1 - Saturday 26 November (1100hrs IST)
Match 2 - Sunday 27 November (1100hrs IST)
Match 3 - Wednesday 30 November (1330 hrs IST)
Match 4 - Saturday 3 December (1100hrs IST)
Match 5 - Sunday 4 December (1100hrs IST)