New Delhi,  26th October :  Indian Junior team captain Skipper Uttam Singh on Thursday exuded confidence of retaining Sultan of Johor hockey title   saying ,"the tournament will be an ideal litmus test ahead of the FIH Junior  World Cup in Malaysia"

“We will aim for a strong start to our 11th Sultan of Johor Cup 2023 campaign with a win against Pakistan and maintain consistency in our performances, all the way to the Finals. Everyone in the squad has worked hard to get to this stage and we will look to execute the game plan in every single match to the best of our abilities and reap the rewards of our hard work,”  opined  Uttam on the eve of the first match ..  

“This tournament will also be a chance to gauge our standing against some of the top sides that are participating in the Jr World Cup as well. So, the 11th Sultan of Johor Cup will also help us fine-tune our tactics before a major tournament and put us in the best position to compete in the global tournament ” he added . 

India is in good stead to back this ambition after titles in the last edition of this tournament, the Junior Asia Cup, and good performances in the 4 Nations Tournament U21 Men in Germany recently. 

The men in Blue will face Pakistan in the opening match of the Sultan of Johor Cup on 27th October in Johor, Malaysia. The tournament also features 8 teams in this edition instead of the customary 6 teams that it featured in previous editions.  

India have been placed in Pool B along with Malaysia, Pakistan, and New Zealand, meanwhile, Pool A will feature Germany, Australia, South Africa, and Great Britain. 

The last time India faced Pakistan; they defeated them 2-1 in an intense Final at the Jr Asia Cup. The Colts will go on to face Malaysia on 28th October, followed by a contest with New Zealand on 30th October to conclude the group stage. They must ensure a top-2 finish in Pool B to secure qualification for the Semi-Finals.  

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