The upcoming FIH Pro League matches against a tough Indian side will serve as good preparation for world no.2 Australia ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, says the visiting team’s captain Aran Zalewski.
After a disappointing start to its campaign in the second FIH Pro League where it lost to world champion Belgium, Australia bounced back with victories over Great Britain and will now lock horns against India in the two-leg contest here on Friday and Saturday.
Soon after arriving here on Sunday night, the skipper of the three-time world champion admitted that world no.4 India would be a tough nut to crack in front of home crowd.
“I think it serves us as good preparation to be facing India away from home in this important Olympic year,” Zalewski said.
“The Indian team has also done well so far, so we’re looking forward to playing them here. We also have a week to prepare for the matches, so we’re hoping we can acclimatise with the conditions and put up a strong show,” he said.
With two wins from four matches, defending champion Australia is currently at the fifth spot in the points table with six points, while India, with three victories out of four games, is a rung above at the third place.
Australia coach Colin Batch too agreed with his captain when asked about his expectations from the matches against India at the Kalinga Stadium.
“We’re delighted to be back here in Bhubaneswar to face India. It’s been a mixed start for us in the Pro League so far, but we’re hoping to face a tough fight against the hosts. We are also looking forward to playing in front of a noisy, full crowd,” he said.
- Vijay Hazare Trophy LIVE Score, Round 7: Mumbai loses two wickets in 200 chase vs Odisha; Karnataka, TN win
- KIIT University bags Best Sports Facility award in CII Sports Business Awards 2023
- Warner angst adds spice to Australia’s sleepy home summer
- Vijay Hazare Trophy: Himachal’s Arpit Guleria records eight wickets against Gujarat, third Indian to feat in List A
- Ethiopian Yehualaw, Kenya’s Ebenyo to make debuts at Tata Steel Kolkata 25K on December 17