India have played some good hockey in the ongoing Asian Champions Trophy, with two wins and one draw under the belt. They have defeated Japan and Pakistan, and will be keen to script their third win against China in Malaysia on Tuesday.
India showed some great character to defeat Pakistan in their last encounter after going 1-2 down, as goals from Rupinder Pal Singh and Ramandeep Singh helped them walk away with three points. India, even before the tournament started, were looked upon as favourites, and have played good hockey to justify that tag. But their defence have not been on top of their game, which was also witnessed against Pakistan.
China might be one of the weakest teams in the competition but if India's defence gives them easy opening, the Chinese players will give it their all to score. India coach Roelant Oltmans was not 100 percent happy with their win over Pakistan, and feels that they can improve further.
"We were much stronger than Pakistan yesterday, but we need to raise our game further. We can improve on this performance. Our defence made a few mistakes in the second half yesterday. Pakistan were able to spot and capitalise on them to score two goals," Press Trust of India quoted Oltmans as saying.
Besides their defence, India also need their forwards like Akashdeep Singh and Ramandeep to penetrate as much as possible, not only against China abut also in future matches in the competition, if they are to clinch the title for the second time.
India, with the services of Rupinder, who has been brilliant with his drag-flicks, are deadly in converting penalty corners. The India forwards needs to find some more ways to earn penalty corners. But they also need to convert all the field goal chances they get against China, which Oltmans believes will not be a walk in the park.
"We need to have more penalty corners. Make no mistake, China can give a tough contest," Oltmans said.
China, who are not a well-known hockey nation, don't have anything to lose, so they will play fearless hockey. With three points after defeating Japan, they are still in contention for the semi-finals berth.
Where to watch live
India vs China Men's Asian Champions Trophy 2016 match is scheduled for 6 pm IST. The match will be shown live on Star Sports 4/HD, with the option of live streaming on Hotstar.