Any India vs Pakistan match will invoke palpable excitement among players and fans alike. It will be no different when the Indian men's hockey team squares off against Pakistan in the Asian Champions Trophy.
The big-ticket India vs Pakistan match will be played on December 17 in Dhaka. What makes the India vs Pakistan match even more special is that both teams are the joint defending champions after the previous edition's final was washed out due to heavy rains.
The Indian team got off to a sedate start to their title defense when they drew 2-2 against Korea. But they bounced back in style against Bangladesh, thumping them 9-0 on December 15.
Dilpreet Singh scored a hat-trick while Jarmanpreet Singh scored a brace in India's win. Lalit Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh Jr and Akashdeep Singh also got on to the scoresheet, scoring one goal each.
The win plugged all the gaps the Indian team had in their defense and forward line, keeping the team in good stead for the much awaited India vs Pakistan clash.
It is also likely to have done a world of good for India's confidence levels. The team had five players getting on the scoresheet and the way the forward line put pressure on the Bangaldeshi defense was pleasing to watch.
The Indian team are without eight of their players who were a part of the bronze medal winning Tokyo Olympic squad. But the relatively young Indian side will take a lot of heart from their good display against Bangladesh. The win gives them the upper hand ahead of their marquee fixture against Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan hockey team have only played one match in the Asian Champions Trophy thus far against Japan. It was on the opening day of the tournament and the teams played out a goalless draw.
Pakistan have been a shadow of themselves with their glorious years much behind them. The team has been plagued by a lot of indifference in their talent, host association, coaching methodologies and grassroots programs.
Once a power-house in hockey, the Pakistan hockey team have failed to qualify for two consecutive Olympics (2016 and 2020). This has sent the fortunes of the team spiraling down.
The Asian Champions Trophy will provide Pakistan a good platform to rise from the ashes and start the new Olympic cycle on a rousing note.
Given what is at stake, the India vs Pakistan match promises to be an exciting affair.
When and where to watch India vs Pakistan match
The India vs Pakistan match will be played in Dhaka on December 17. The contest will start at 3.00 pm IST. It will be broadcast live on the Star Sports 1 and Star Sports Select 2 (both SD and HD) channels.
Live streaming details of India vs Pakistan match
There will also be a live stream of the India vs Pakistan match on Hotstar. Hockey India will also provide regular match updates, scores, pictures and the result on Twitter and Instagram.