Coach Jude Felix looked on as his boys veered past Malaysia, New Zealand, Japan and mighty Australia - but failed to tame a determined Great Britain unit both in the pool match and in the all-important final, as the Indian boys settled for silver last time around at Johor Bahru.
The former India international from Karnataka is no longer at the helm but the Indian colts under the tutelage of BJ Kariappa are raring to go as the ninth edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup gets underway in the Southern Region of Malaysia on October 12.
The international U-21 men's tournament has served as a platform for players like Vivek Sagar and Dilpreet Singh (who ended up as the highest scorer of the competition in the 2017 edition) to find a place in the Senior National Team, and several young talents in the current bunch will be keen to make their presence felt.
The boys from Great Britain have risen steadily up the ladder in the last two editions - changing the colour of their medal to gold last year after having won silver in 2017.
Not to be left behind, the Indians too improved on a third-place finish a couple of years back to end up as the deserving runners-up in 2018 - and will be hoping to go one better this time around with the same teams in the fray as last year.
While Dilpreet Singh will be hoping to repeat the pyrotechnics of 2017, aiding him in the attacking circle will be Shilanand Lakra and Gursahibjit Singh - both of whom have donned the India jersey for the senior squad.
Coach BJ Kariappa who has been entrusted with the responsibility of guiding the boys has two debutants in his defensive line up - Dinachandra Singh Moiranthem and Sharda Nand Tiwari will be manning the back lines alongside captain Mandeep Mor and vice-captain Sanjay.
The Indian juniors finished behind and Australia and Great Britain to end up sixth in an Eight-Nation invitational tournament in June - and the Madrid performance will be one that the side will be hoping to put behind them when they begin their campaign against Malaysia on October 12.
Considered to be amongst the most prestigious junior international tournaments in the world after the Junior World Cup (which the Indians won in 2016), the Sultan of Johor Cup, which began in 2011 has witnessed some memorable matches over the years with India, Australia, and Great Britain winning the title twice.
Here is how you can catch the action:
Event: Sultan of Johor Cup, 2019
Venue: Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Dates: October 12 to October 19
Telecast: No telecast
Live Streaming: Notthefootyshow