According to Hockey India (HI) sources, the World Cup-bound team is likely to be announced in the second week of May. The team is expected to be led by ace midfielder Sardar Singh.
India will play two practice games before their opening World Cup tie against Belgium on May 31. India will play their first warm-up game against 12th ranked South Africa and then face 11th ranked Argentina in their second practice game. These two games will enable the team to fine-tune their preparations for the big-ticket event.
It may be noted that India had embarked on a week-long tour of the Netherlands last month – they played five games – winning one, drawing one and losing three matches. India played against national sides of Belgium and Netherlands.
India had launched their Dutch tour with a thumping 7-0 win over Leiden Hockey Club before playing out a 3-3 draw with HGC. India lost to Belgium 1-2 in their third game before going down to the Netherlands 2-4 and 1-2 margins in their fourth and fifth warm-up games respectively.