New Delhi, 28 September: India captain and ace drag flicker Harmanpreet Singh on Wednesday exuded confidence of that his team will continue with its winning streak when they take on defending champion Japan on Thursday.
India have won their first two games with big margins, swamped Uzbekistan 16-0 in their opener then defeated Singapore 16-1.
Talking about the match against Japan, Harmanpreet, who scored four goals against Singapore, said, "We are aware of the level of competition that we will face tomorrow. Japan have a strong unit and we are familiar with their strengths and weaknesses. We have to focus on our own style of play, but we have to also be ready to switch tactics as and when needed on the field to get a good result."
Japan have also been unbeaten so far in the Games, defeating Bangladesh 7-2 in their first Pool A match, and then followed it up with a 10-1 win over Uzbekistan in their second game.
"Japan have plenty of goal scorers in their team, and hence our defence needs to be strong to tackle their attacking movements," Harmanpreet said, before adding, "We have to constantly be aware of their movements, especially when we are out of possession, so that we can close the gaps on time, and do not allow them to dictate the pace of the game. It will be an interesting contest and we are all ready for it."
India's last meeting against Japan was in the Semi-Final of the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai last month, which India won 5-0. India also recorded a 1-1 draw against Japan in the same tournament in the Pool match. Since 2013, the two teams have met 26 times, in which India have won 21 times, Japan have won thrice, and two games have ended in a draw.
Vice-Captain Hardik Singh opined , "We have played against Japan recently, which gives us confidence going into the match. But at the same time, they have also seen our style of play quite recently, so they will also come up with strategies to counter the same. Hence, we expect it to be a close contest. If we make correct decisions on the field, we will get a positive result from the game."