If tightening up at the back was the primary objective post the encounter against Belgium, the Indians still have some distance to travel at the Pro League 2020 as was evident from the yawning gaps in defence during the first of the two matches against Australia.
The kookaburras dominated the first half without enjoying a lion's share of the possession and seemed to be able to do more with the ball than the hosts who were clearly playing second fiddle after conceding an early goal.
Dylan Wotherspoon found the mark in the sixth minute but missed a couple of sitters later in the match and if the 26-year-old striker had continued to look sharp in the attacking circle, the Aussies could have ended up with half a dozen goals.
What was heartening, however, was that the Indians never allowed the Aussies to run away with the match even after Colin Batch's boys threatened to do just that on more than one occasion.
So much so, that if only Rupinder Pal Singh had managed to direct his last drag-flick home - instead of just a little wide - Manpreet Singh and co. could have forced a shootout after being 1-4 down in the third quarter which the kookaburras may have found hard to digest after what transpired on the pitch.
Although it was the Aussies who gained full points, the Indians will take heart from the manner in which they fought back and will, no doubt, be prepared for what to expect on Saturday.
There was not much to choose between the two sides if one goes by the numbers with both teams firing eleven shots each on target with the Australians managing 26 circle entries as compared to the Indians who managed 23.
By the end of play, the Aussies controlled 65% of the possession but earned just a couple of PCs as compared to the Indians who earned 5 and converted a couple.
Saturday's encounter has all the makings of another fast and exciting classic given the manner in which both teams are currently placed on the points table with the Australians veering ahead of the Indians with 9 points from 5 matches as compared to the hosts who still have 8 from just as many matches.
Here is how you can catch all the action:
Event: Men's Hockey Pro League 2020
Venue: Bhubaneswar, India
Date: 22 February 2020
Time: 7:00 pm Indian Standard Time (IST)
Telecast: Star Sports
Live Streaming: Hotstar
While the Indians are unlikely to repeat the mistakes they committed on Friday which will result in a more even contest, the flurry of goals is all set to continue as the hosts need a win and will likely employ a more sustained high press while the Australians continue to attack in waves.
Score Prediction: India 3- 3 Australia