Photo courtesy: HockeyIndia.org
Pegged as blockbuster matches in international hockey, World No.5 India will battle it out against World No.1 Australia in a five-match Series starting in Adelaide from November 26. The two teams have been toe-to-toe in their recent performances and have met twice since 2020 – at the Tokyo Olympic Games where India finished with a historic Bronze Medal and Australia with a Silver. They also met in the Final of Birmingham Commonwealth Games where Australia clinched the Gold medal.
Talking about the 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 Odisha 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 who will be the cynosure of India’s PC attack.
Photo courtesy: Hockey.org
He further stated his excitement of playing in Adelaide. “It is great to be in Australia after so many years gap. 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.”
“It 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 caliber to play against,” added Batch.
“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 said.
(News courtesy: HockeyIndia.org)
HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN WATCH THE MATCHES
Kookaburras v India Series
MATE Stadium, Adelaide
Match 1 – Saturday 26 November (4.00pm local time, 4.30pm AEDT)
Match 2 – Sunday 27 November (4.00pm local time, 4.30pm AEDT)
Match 3 – Wednesday 30 November (6.30pm local time, 7.00pm AEDT)
Match 4 – Saturday 3 December (4.00pm local time, 4.30pm AEDT)
Match 5 – Sunday 4 December (4.00pm local time, 4.30pm AEDT)
Ticketing details: Available now through Ticketek
Broadcast: LIVE on FOX Sports, Kayo and livestreamed on LIVEHockey. The matches will also be streamed globally on Watch.Hockey (geo blocked in Australia and India). In India the matches will be shown on Star Sports First, Star Sports Select 1.