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India face an uphill task

Glasgow: With two easy victories under their belt, a confident India will face their first real test in the men’s hockey event when they take on world champions and title holders Australia in their next Pool A match at the XX Commonwealth Games, on Tuesday.

Ninth-ranked India started their campaign on a positive note, beating world No. 31 Wales 3-1. They then went on to crush 25th ranked Scotland 6-2.

For the first time, though, the Sardar Singh-led side would be tested in the competition as they find a formidable and ruthless opponent in Australia.

Going by rankings and present form, Australia are way ahead of India. In the last meeting between the two sides, at this year’s World Cup, the Indians were spanked 0-4. Australia eventually won the title, thrashing Netherlands 6-2 in the final.

No wonder then that India would need a magical effort and some luck if they want to upstage Australia, unarguably the best team in world at the moment. The match would also provide India a chance to avenge their 0-8 drubbing at the hands of Australia in the final of the last edition of Games in New Delhi.

The Indians could take heart from the performance of their penalty corner specialists — VR Raghunath and Rupinder Pal Singh — as they returned to form after failing to score in the World Cup. (PTI)