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FIH Men's Junior Hockey World Cup 2023: Recent Success Will Play As Morale Booster During The Tournament, Says Vice-Captain Araijeet Singh Hundal

Indian Junior Hockey Team won the Sultan of Johor Cup 2022 and the Junior Asia Cup. India team left for Malaysia on Saturday for the upcoming tournament starting December 5. They will be playing against South Korea in the opening game

File image of Araijeet Singh Hundal
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Indian junior hockey team's recent success in continental events will play a morale-boosting role when it begins its campaign in the men's Junior World Cup, commencing in Kuala Lumpur on December 5, asserted vice-captain Araijeet Singh Hundal in Bengaluru on Saturday. (More Hockey News)

The Indian team left for the Junior World Cup on Saturday and will play its opening game against Korea on December 5.

"The team has grown significantly since the last World Cup (in Bhubaneswar). We won the Sultan of Johor Cup 2022 and the Junior Asia Cup and recently finished third in the Sultan of Johor Cup as well," said Hundal in a Hockey India release on Saturday.

"So, we know that we are capable of winning the Junior World Cup, it's just a matter of performing to the best of our abilities when the time comes." 

India are placed in Pool C alongside Spain, Korea and Canada, while defending champions Argentina are in Pool A along with Chile, Australia and hosts Malaysia.

Germany, France, South Africa and Egypt are slotted in Pool B, while the Netherlands, New Zealand, Belgium and Pakistan will battle it out in Pool D.

India had finished fourth in the previous edition of the tournament held in Bhubaneswar in 2021, losing to France in the 3rd/4th place match.

After their game against Korea, India, the 2016 champions, will play Spain on December 7, while their last pool game will be against Canada on December 9.

India need to finish in the top two in Pool C to secure their entry in the quarterfinals.

Captain Uttam Singh said his team wanted to erase the disappointment of returning without a medal in the 2021 edition of the Junior World Cup.

"The last time around we had to face the bitter disappointment of losing the 3rd/4th place match to France but the team has bounced back and the bond amongst the team is stronger than ever.

"As always, the team will take it match by match, we will look to give our best on the pitch and hopefully bring a medal back to India," said Singh.

The team faced an unexpected change in the 18-member squad with Shardanand Tiwari being ruled out due to illness. He has been replaced by Sukhvinder. 

With Sukhvinder's entry into the squad, Yogember Rawat has been added as the replacement athlete for the event.

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