It was Shilanand Lakra who scored the winner against the hosts which enabled his side to begin their Sultan of Johor Cup campaign on a winning note last October - and the Indians will be hoping for a similar result when they take on Malaysia at Johor Bahru this evening.
If recent events or performances are anything to go by, the Indian camp will have their work cut out both in terms of overcoming the disappointment of a poor show at the Eight-Nations Invitational in Spain and not having a coach for the last four months or so after Jude Felix was relieved of his duties in June.
In Madrid, the Indians lost to Great Britain in the classification match for fifth and sixth place after having been beaten comprehensively by Australia in the pool stage and will need to put up a much better show in their opener to set the ball rolling in the prestigious U-21 international event.
In spite of the recent slump, former coach Jude Felix who guided the team to a bronze in 2017 and a silver in 2018, at the same venue, remains upbeat about the chances of the boys he mentored until not so long ago.
In an interaction with Sportskeeda on the eve of the tournament, the former India half-back expressed hope that BJ Kariappa's side would scale the summit this year as they have nothing to lose.
"It’s tough for me to predict how they will perform after not having been with them now for four months and they not having a coach - but then, when things are their worst, you may well have a good performance suddenly popping up as they have nothing to lose."
"So. I guess they will do well with all the training I have given them over the last 26 months. This group under me finished with a bronze medal the first year, silver in the second year, and this is their third year - so you could expect them to finish on the top."
The Indians will take on New Zealand tomorrow and Japan on Tuesday before facing the might of Australia and Great Britain on Wednesday and Friday respectively
Here is how you can catch all the action:
Event: Sultan of Johor Cup 2019
Venue: Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Date: 13 October 2019
Time: 6:05 pm Indian Standard Time (IST)
Telecast: No Telecast
Live Streaming: Notthefootyshow
The Indian boys can ill-afford to be adventurous in the early stages of a tricky opening encounter but will be expected to gain confidence and come into their groove as the match progresses.
The experience of Dilpreet Singh, Shilanand Lakra, and Mandeep Mor is certain to come in handy for BJ Kariappa's boys.