New Delhi, 28 April: In preparation for Hangzhou Asian Games, the Indian Women's Hockey Team will tour Australia for a five-match series, from 18 to 27th May.
The visitors will play Australia in the first three games of the series, followed by two matches against Australia A. All the matches will be played at MATE Stadium in Adelaide.
India will play their opening match of the tour on the 18th May before playing back-to-back games on the 20th and 21st May. The visitors will then compete against Australia A on the 25th and 27th May. Australia is currently ranked third in the world, while the India is eighth.
The tour will serve as a warm-up event for the Hangzhou Asian Games, which will take place in September-October this year. “Playing Australia in Australia will help us assess where we are compared to the top of women’s hockey. More importantly, the series will be crucial for our preparations for the Asian Games in China as it will give us ideal exposure while helping us reckon the areas where we need to make improvements and changes. So, it’s a very important tour for us strategically.”opined Women's team coach Janneke Schopman,
India will travel to Australia with a lot of confidence, having won the FIH Women's Nations Cup in December defeating host Spain in the Final. In January this year, India toured South Africa, where they registered comprehensive 5-1, 7-0, and 4-0 victories in the opening three games, while the fourth game ended in a 2-2 draw. However, during the same tour, India suffered a 1-3 loss at the hands of the Netherlands in their last three games.
In addition, India defeated three-time Olympic gold medallists Australia 1-0 in the Semi-Finals of the Tokyo Olympics. It was a historic victory as they were competing in only their third Olympics and qualified for the Quarter-Finals for the first time.
India also fought hard against Australia in the Commonwealth Games 2022 Semi-Final match in Birmingham, tying the score at 1-1 at the end of regulation time. However, Australia won the penalty shoot-out 3-0 to make it to the final.
Currently, the Indian players are gearing up for the Australia Tour by putting in the hard yards to further fine-tune their strategies and combinations in the ongoing Senior Women's National Coaching Camp at SAI, Bengaluru.