The Indian women’s hockey team views the ongoing FIH Pro League as a perfect preparation for two key tournaments this year - the World Cup and the Hangzhou Asian Games.

India takes success in its FIH Pro League debut, beating China 7-1 and 2-1 in its opening two-leg tie in Muscat, Oman, earlier this year. And India captain Savita says playing against top teams in the FIH Pro League will be a fair assessment of its game ahead of an important 2022, which also has the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

“Our main focus is on our own performance. We were waiting for long to play in the Pro League because here we will be up against the top teams of the world. It will give us a fair idea about our strengths and weaknesses ahead of an important season,” Savita said in a virtual press conference ahead of the second FIH Pro League fixture against Spain here this weekend.

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“The Pro League is an important tournament for the World Cup and Asian Games. We have already qualified for the World Cup but every match in the Pro League will give us an idea on the grey areas we need to work upon. The Asian Games is also there which is an Olympic qualifier.”

Spain, a very good side

The Indian women, who finished a historic fourth in the Tokyo Olympics, carried on their good show in the FIH Pro League but in World No. 7 and current World Cup bronze-medallist Spain, a tough competitor awaits it in its first home outing in the double-leg tie at the Kalinga Stadium here on Saturday and Sunday.

“Spain is a very good side. They won the bronze medal in the last World Cup. So, it is important for us to keep the momentum going. We need to give our best in every match,” Savita said.

India is currently placed third in the FIH Pro League standings with six points from two games and the skipper said it will continue to play to its strengths.

“Attacking hockey and penalty corners are our strength and we will focus on that (against Spain),” said the ace goalkeeper.

Savita’s deputy Deep Grace Ekka to echoed the sentiment. “We were waiting to play Pro League matches for some years. We started well against China and now we will like to keep the momentum going.”

Spain, on the other hand, is placed fifth in the league table with one point from two games.