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India colts are ready for battle

New Delhi: A tough opening match awaits India in the junior hockey World Cup in the form of the mighty Netherlands, but vice-captain of the home team, Amit Rohidas, on Sunday said the players were determined to make a winning start in the December 6-15 tournament.

“Playing the World Cup is a big event in any player’s life and I am blessed to have got this opportunity to play with the senior team and for India. After playing in the Asian Champions Trophy, we all are confident of winning our first match against the Netherlands,” said Rohidas, who was a part of the senior team that finished runners-up in this year’s Asia Cup in Ipoh.

“Our success ratio for penalty corners is 70-80 per cent and we hope this rate will help us get those important goals,” said the drag-flick expert of the junior team.

“We understand that winning the first match will be very important as it will not only give us the momentum but also motivate us to continue with the winning streak,” he said after the team’s training session at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, ahead of India’s opening encounter against the Netherlands on December 6.

Defender Gurjinder Singh echoed similar sentiments. “We have a clear mandate of taking each match when it comes and the target as of today is to have a winning start against the Netherlands,” he said. “The team is very experienced and with players like Manpreet Singh we are confident of playing great hockey,” he added.

The Belgium junior men’s team on Sunday sweated it out during a practice session at the National Sadium. (PTI)