Indian men’s hockey team to play 5-match ‘Test series’ in Australia in November-December | Hockey News – Times of India
The Indians, currently ranked fifth, will face the world number one Australians in five matches between November 26 and December 4 at the MATE Stadium in Adelaide.
The second, third and fourth matches will be played on November 27, November 30 and December 3.
It will be the first time the two sides will be meeting since the Kookaburras beat India for the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in August.
The five-match ‘Test series’ will be invaluable outings for both the side in preparation for the 2023 Men’s World Cup to be held in Odisha in January next year.
The Indian women’s team will also be playing against the Australian women in a series of matches in May next year, for which the dates are yet to be confirmed.
A senior national Indian hockey team has not played in Australia since the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
“From the moment we raised the prospect of hosting these matches in Adelaide, the South Australian Government has shown enormous enthusiasm and eagerness to host, so we are delighted to bring these series to South Australia,” said Hockey Australia CEO David Pryles in a statement.
“Australia and India have developed a fierce rivalry on the hockey pitch in recent times. Coupled with there being a large and passionate Indian population in Adelaide, there is no doubt this series will be a hot ticket to get hold of and attract terrific crowds,” he added.
Highly decorated Kookaburras co-captain Eddie Ockenden will make his 400th international appearance in the series. The 35-year-old is currently on 398 matches.
The Indian men’s team is currently coached by Australian and former Kookaburra Graham Reid. They will arrive in Australia after playing back-to-back double-headers against Spain and New Zealand in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2022-2023 season in Bhubaneswar.
“This is a great opportunity for both the Indian Men and Women’s Team as these matches will serve as an ideal preparation ground ahead of marquee events like the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar-Rourkela 2023 and the Asian Games next year,” newly-elected Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey said.
“Playing against a world-class team like Australia will prove beneficial for both our Men and Women’s Hockey Teams. I wish them the very best, and thank Hockey Australia for organising these Test matches,” Tirkey said in the Hockey Australia statement.
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