Hockey World Cup: India skipper Manpreet outlines the planLast updated on Nov 15, 2018, 10:04 pm
India men's hockey captain Manpreet Singh has said that his team's focus is to top their pool in the upcoming World Cup this month.
Less than two weeks are left to go for the World Cup, which begins in Odisha on November 28.
16 top teams will battle for glory at the iconic Kalinga Stadium.
Here is more on the same.
India are placed in Pool C
India are placed in Pool C alongside South Africa, Belgium and Canada.
India will open their campaign against South Africa on November 28, before taking on Belgium on December 2.
Their last group encounter is against Canada on December 8.
India haven't faced SA ever in a major tournament.
The opener will be a tricky affair and India need to start well.
'We are keen to top the group'
According to PTI, Manpreet stated that the side is keen to win every match and top the group.
"There is no doubt we want to win every match in the pool stage, earn the three points from each match, and top the pool to make the quarter-final. That is our first hurdle," said Manpreet.
He also added that they won't be taking anyone lightly.
18-member Indian hockey team
Here's a look at the 18-member Indian Men's Hockey Team who will represent the nation at the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. Catch the action LIVE from 28th November.#IndiaKaGame #HWC2018 pic.twitter.com/vjwD5X5rME— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) November 8, 2018
India need to play well in a tricky group
India's main test will come in the form of Belgium and Canada.
Their recent results against world number 3 Belgium have been strong, but India know that they will provide serious competition.
Against Canada, the Indian team eked out a 2-2 draw in 2016 Rio Games league stage.
And then in Hockey World League semi-final, they lost 2-3 in the 5th-6th place play-off.
Manpreet optimistic about India's chances
"I believe we have improved as a team in the past two years and we have learned from every tournament. If we play our best hockey, who we are playing should not matter," said Manpreet.