Indian hockey colts, following their title-winning feat in the men's Junior Asia Cup earlier this year, will look to continue their fine run when they take on arch-rivals Pakistan in the Sultan of Johor Cup opener on Friday. (More Hockey News)
India are placed in Pool B along with Malaysia, Pakistan, and New Zealand, while Pool A features Germany, Australia, South Africa and Great Britain.
The last time the Johor Cup defending champions India faced Pakistan was during the Junior Asia Cup in June, where they defeated the neighbours 2-1 to win the tournament a record fourth time.
India will face Malaysia and New Zealand on October 28 and 30 respectively in the group stage.
The team must ensure a top-two finish in the pool to secure qualification for the semifinals.
"We will aim for a strong start to our campaign with a win against Pakistan and maintain consistency in our performances, all the way to the finals," said captain Uttam Singh.
"We will look to execute the game plan in every single match to the best of our abilities."
The colts have had a successful year, where they won the last edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup, the Junior Asia Cup, followed by good performances in the U21 four-nations tournament in Germany recently.
The tournament will provide the team with an opportunity to test its combinations and also assess the rival teams, who will also feature in the FIH Hockey Junior World Cup 2023.
"This tournament will also be a chance to gauge our standing against some of the top sides that are participating in the Junior World Cup as well. So, the Johor Cup will also help us fine-tune our tactics before a major tournament and put us in the best position to compete in the Junior World Cup,"added Singh.