It is world number 4 facing off against world number 2. The Indian Men's Hockey Team will take on the world number 2 Australia, in the FIH Pro League 2020, at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar in a double-header on the 21st and 22nd of February 2020.
Indians started off this tournament brilliantly by beating the mighty Netherlands in both the matches. Then they took on the World Champions, Belgium and beat them in the first encounter before losing the second one, the very next day. With 8 points from the 4 matches played, India is presently placed at the 3rd position in the points table.
On the other hand the Aussies started the tournament poorly, by losing both their encounters against Belgium. However they came back strongly against Great Britain by winning both the matches. At present they are placed at the 5th position with 6 points from 4 matches.
Thus these two matches will be very important for both the nations. If India is able to continue their winning momentum, then they can improve their standing and be in the top two. On the other hand if Australia wins, they will overtake India in the points table and be in the top 3.
In the last few decades Australia has dominated world hockey while India struggled to regain its lost glory. In the India-Australia clashes in recent past, Australia has dominated more often than not. However the resurgence of the Indian side under Manpreet Singh's inspired leadership has reduced the gap between the two sides and at present it is very difficult to choose a favourite for this clash.
This makes the contest all the more interesting and the hockey loving Bhubaneswar people are expected to fill up the Kalinga Stadium to cheer for their favourite team. With the strong support behind them, if India is able to play good hockey and come out victorious against Australia, then it will also be a big moral booster for the team ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The detailed schedule and live telecast information for the two matches are given below.
Schedule of the Matches:
1st Match : 21 February 2020 from 19:00 hrs, Kalinga Stadium Bhubaneswar
2nd Match : 22 February 2020 from 19:00 hrs, Kalinga Stadium Bhubaneswar
Both the matches will be telecast live in Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD