Chance for Indian eves to redeem their reputation

Chance for Indian eves to redeem their reputation

Surinder Kaur & Co take on Malaysia today

Dogged by scandals and controversies, the team, led by Surinder Kaur, will however get a chance to redeem their reputation when they take on some of the best talent in the world at the 16th Asian Games.

India, bronze medalists last time, open their campaign against Malaysia at the Aoti Hockey Centre on Saturday, and a win in the first match will certainly boost their confidence ahead of tougher contests.

India lost out on a semifinal spot on goal difference at the Commonwealth Games and in the league format in place here, they can’t afford to relax even for a moment. China, champions in 2002 and 2006, are the favourites for the gold while South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Kazakhstan are the other teams in the seven-team event, with the top two teams meeting in the final.

China, ranked fourth in the world, did not have a great World Cup as they slumped to eighth position.  They had also lost to India 1-2 in the Asian Women’s Champions Trophy tournament earlier this year, where the Indians claimed the bronze medal.

But at home, China are certain to come hard at their rivals while Japan, the runners-up last time, and South Korea, who have lost their prime position in the continent, will offer challenge to the hosts.

In other matches on the opening day, Japan take on Kazakhstan and South Korea play Thailand.

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