Harmanpreet Singh
Drag-flicker Harmanpreet (R) has been impressive for India so far Reuters

India take on defending champions Australia in their third round-robin league match of 2017 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh on Tuesday.

The five-time champions are heading into the game after beating New Zealand 3-0 on Sunday whereas Australia decimated hosts Malaysia 6-1. With the two teams tied at four points each from two games, both would be looking to clinch the crucial table-topping victory tomorrow.

Billed as one of the marquee matches of the tournament, sixth-ranked India will have a lot to play for as they turn up against arch-rivals, second-ranked Australia, who defeated them in the final of last year's tournament and also in 2016 Champions Trophy title match.

Having started the tournament well, Manpreet SIngh's men will be confident of getting a positive result against the mighty Australian team. Buoyed by the Junior Hockey World Cup win last year, India have toured Malaysia with a good blend of youth and experience and the performances of Harmanpreet Singh, who scored a brace against New Zealand, and Mandeep Singh should have given coach Roelant Oltmans a lot of confidence.

With Harmanpreet ably replacing veteran Raghunath and converting penalty corners well, Australia coach Colin Batch is reportedly wary of the threat the Indian drag-flicker possesses.

However, with strikers Tom Craig and Trent Mitton scoring seven goals between them in two games, the Men in Yellow will start as favourites to clinch another two points but they will have to be at their best to edge past the confident-looking Indian team.

Team News

India

Squad: Manpreet (c), Harmanpreet, Akash, Rupinder, Gurinder, Surender, Sardar, Mandeep, Sreejesh, Sumit, Manpreet (Jr), Talwinder, Harjeet, Pradeep, Sunil, Akashdeep, Chinglensana, Yousuf

Australia

Squad: Swann (c), Craig, Wickham, Dawson, Edwards, Ockenden, Whetton, Kleinschmidt, Willis, Swann, Benjamin, Ogilvie, Lovell, Mitton, Wotherspoon, Philpott, Charter, Pollard, Hayward