- India men’s hockey team is up against South Korea.
- The defending champions will be led by skipper Manpreet Singh.
- India has won this prestigious event thrice 2011.
New Delhi: Olympic bronze medalist Indian men’s hockey team will start its new cycle with a bunch of youngsters aiming to prove their mettle when it begins its Asian Champions Trophy campaign against Korea on Tuesday. India has won the event thrice since its inception in 2011 and has won the previous two editions held in 2016 in Kuantan, Malaysia and 2018 in Muscat, Oman.
India will play their opening match against Korea on December 14th, followed by their match against hosts Bangladesh the next day (December 15th). Their third match will be against arch-rivals Pakistan on December 17th and on December 19th, they take on Asian Games champions Japan. The semi-finals and final will be held on December 21st and 22nd respectively. Skipper Manpreet Singh emphasised on getting off to a good start. Speaking about the importance of the tournament, Manpreet said: “The tournament is quite an important one for us as it is our first tournament after the Tokyo Olympics. If we start well, then our confidence levels will go high.”
Speaking on the team’s fitness levels before the start of the tournament, the Indian skipper said: “We are in pretty good shape. We focused a lot on our fitness at the recent camp in Bhubaneswar. We are looking forward to see how the other Asian teams have shaped up over these past two years. The tournament will be a good test for our squad. In the previous edition of this event held in Muscat, India had jointly lifted the title along with Pakistan as the final was called off due to incessant rains.