India women's hockey team to play three-Test series in Australia | Hockey - Hindustan Times

India women's hockey team to play three-Test series in Australia

Apr 26, 2023 01:59 PM IST

India will play five matches in all as they build up for the Hangzhou Asian Games.

The India women's hockey team will tour Australia for a five-match series from May 18 to 27. The Savita Punia-led side will play Australia in the first three games before taking on Australia A in the final two matches.

India women's hockey team goalkeeper Savita(Hockey India)
India women's hockey team goalkeeper Savita(Hockey India)

The games against world No 3 Australia will be played on May 18, 20 and 21 while the games against Australia A will take place on May 25 and 27. All games will be played at the MATE Stadium in Adelaide.

The tour will serve as a warm-up for the Asian Games in Hangzhou, to take place in September-October.

“Playing Australia in Australia will help us assess where we are compared to the top of women’s hockey. More importantly, the series will be crucial for our preparations for the Asian Games in China as it will give us ideal exposure while helping us spot the areas where we need to make improvements and changes. So, it’s a very important tour for us strategically,” Janneke Schopman, India chief coach, said.

This will be the second tour for the world No 8 outfit this year after travelling to Cape Town in January where they played four matches against hosts South Africa and three against world and Olympic champions Netherlands. India won the series 3-0 against world No 22 South Africa but lost all three games to world No 1 Netherlands.

Australia won the last game between the two sides via a shootout in the semi-finals of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Before that India had sensationally knocked the Hockeyroos out in the quarter-final of the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

“Any opportunity the Hockeyroos have to play in Australia is always special and this series is one we’re really looking forward to. We have an exciting group of players named for these matches and there will be plenty to play for. Not only is it an opportunity to take on a really strong international opponent, but also for selection with players vying to be part of our team for the Oceania Cup and in the frame for the Paris Olympics,” said Australia head coach Katrina Powell.

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