Bhubaneswar: After having faced two out of the top-3 ranked sides in their opening FIH Hockey Pro League 2020 encounters, World No 4 India will be facing World No 2 Australia in two intriguing ties here at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium on Friday and Saturday.
With two wins against the Netherlands in January and another one against reigning World and European Champions Belgium in their first match on February 8, the Indian team climbed up to No 4 in the FIH World Rankings and will bank on consistent performances to shrug off stiff competition from the FIH Hockey Pro League Defending Champions.
India is currently third on the FIH Hockey Pro League 2020 points table with a total of 8 points from their four matches, resulting from two normal time wins, one shootout win and a loss to Belgium. Meanwhile, the visitors sit on the fifth position with 6 points from their four matches, having won one match in normal time, one in a shootout, lost one in normal time and another one in a shootout.
Ahead of the match, India head coach Graham Reid said: "I think we have played some very consistent level of hockey in our first four matches against the Netherlands and Belgium. We faced two of the top-3 teams in the world and showed that we can compete at the highest level constantly. We are feeling really confident ahead of the matches against the No. 2 team in the world, and of course, they are also the defending champions of the FIH Hockey Pro League."
Reid also spoke about playing different teams back-to-back in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2020. IANS
Also Read: Belgium win FIH Hockey World Cup