Azlan Shah Cup: India take on Aussies

India takes on Australia today in its 4th game of the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament in Malaysia.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
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An overwhelming desire to prove their detractors wrong should be motivation enough for a youthful Indian team that will go up against a tough Australia in the fourth game of the seven-nation Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament today. "A lot of people wrote this team off saying it was a second string and a junior side. But if you were to go by the results, then I think it shows that despite the two narrow defeats and a draw in three games, we have not done all that badly," said coach Harendra Singh. Looking ahead to the game against Australia, Harendra said, "Previously, we used to get nervous at the prospect of playing against a big team like Australia. But this bunch of Indian players has little regard for the reputation of their opponents, and their body language reflects their confidence." Key players missing However, the second most experienced member of this new look squad Baljeet Singh Dhillon will be unable to play after fracturing his nose on Sunday. It is being hoped that Dhillon might recover in time for the three-Test series against Holland in Hyderabad next month. So far India has played three games in the tournament in Malaysia, losing to Pakistan and Germany and drawing 2-2 with Malaysia. The Aussies too, are without several key players, especially Jamie Dwyer and Paul Gaudoin, due to injuries, have looked a below-par side in this tournament, and the Indians are only too aware of it. However, it is a moot point whether the Indian team will be able to convert the situation to their advantage. (With PTI inputs)