India men's hockey team will commence their journey in the 2014 edition of the Commonwealth Games against Wales at the Glasgow National Hockey Center on Friday, with Terry Walsh's men deseprate to restore some pride after a disappointing World Cup campaign.
The Sardar Singh-led outfit played some brilliant games in the World Cup and troubled teams like England and Belgium but because of their habit of conceding goals in the final moments they only finished ninth
The Indian team is pooled alongside Wales, Scotland, South Africa and Australia in CWG 2014, and will be looking to turn things around in the quadrennial event.
They are strengthened by the inclusion of Gurvinder Singh Chandi, Danish Mujtaba, Nikkin Thimmaiah and Ramandeep Singh, while Akashdeep Singh and goalkeeper PR Sreejesh has been in great form lately.
Wales are 22 places below India in the FIH World Rankings but coach Walsh is not taking the minnows lightly and insisted his team will need to work hard in the opening fixture.
"Wales will be seen full of enthusiasm but will probably play with a strong defensive mind set," Walsh said. "The ability to create opportunities from congestion will be our major task, brining penalty corners and then making those chances count will prove essential.
"The team is well placed and focused on the game that should create a good platform for our quest to finish in the top two of our pool. I expect Wales will be a very stoic and resilient team, our fast ball movement and swift transfers will undoubtedly be major weapons for us."
This is India's second meeting with Wales in CWG and skipper Sardar Singh insisted that they are ready to make a winning start and are not taking their opponents lightly.
"The whole team is pepped-up post the practice sessions and practice matches and are looking forward to a winning start," Sardar said. "It will be the first time we will be playing against Wales and we will not take the opponents lightly.
"I feel all the players at their respective positions are well prepared and more than ready to give this tournament a celebratory start."
Indian Squad: Goalkeeper: PR Sreejesh (vice-capt)
Defenders: Gurbaj Singh, Birendra Lakra, Rupinder Pal Singh, Kothajit Singh, VR Raghunath
Midfielders: Dharamvir Singh, Sardar Singh (capt), Danish Mujtaba, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam and Manpreet Singh
Forwards: Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, SV Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi and Nikkin Thimmaiah
Where to Watch Live
The first match, between India and Wales, is scheduled for a 9:00 am local time (1:30 pm IST) start, with Live coverage in India is on Ten Sports and live streaming option HERE and HERE. The action will be available live on CBS Sports in Canada with online streaming option HERE.
BBC will telecast the games live in the United Kingdom, with live streaming option HERE or follow the updates HERE. Network Ten will broadcast the matches live in Australia with an online viewing option HERE. For International viewers, including the United States, the action will be available live on official Commonwealth Games 2014 YouTube channel for free HERE.