How Indian hockey team is a strong contender for Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2018
#1 First major tournament of 2018
The 27th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup will get underway in Ipoh, Malaysia. The tournament is an important one in the hockey calendar since it's inception in 1983 as a biennial contest. It subsequently became an annual event from 1998.
Australia have won the Azlan Shah cup nine times, followed by India who have won five times and Pakistan thrice.
India were bronze medalists last year and in 2015 and won silver in 2016. India will be pitted against Australia, Argentina, Ireland, England, and hosts Malaysia.
After the Four-Nations Invitational in New Zealand last month, where the Red Lions got the better of India twice, this will be the first major tournament of 2018 for coach Sjoerd Marijne's team.
Akashdeep Singh, SV Sunil, SK Uthappa, Amit Rohidas, Dipsan Tirkey, Akash Chikte and Suraj Karkera (among others) were not picked for the Four-Nations Invitational but are back among the probables for the Azlan Shah Cup.
So, who will be key the players for Team India and what can we expect from the side who will be up against the top two teams in the hockey world?