Indian men's hockey team will face New Zealand in the semifinals of the Commonwealth Games at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre on Saturday.
India will be playing without their skipper and star midfielder Sardar Singh. Sardar was suspended, after being reprimanded for the second time in the competition against South Africa.
However, he will be able to play in the final, should India beat the Black Sticks and qualify for the gold medal match. Earlier, the Indian captain was given a two-match suspension but the organisers reduced the ban, after India's appeal.
"It was an unintentional tackle for which Sardar got the yellow card," India's coach MK Kaushik said. "Since he has already been reprimanded, he received a two-match suspension. But after we appealed it was reduced to one match."
India have played quite well in the tournament and looked a balanced outfit in all four matches. However, it will be interesting to see how they manage without Sardar, who held the midfield together in previous matches.
In head-to-head encounters in the CWG, India edged New Zealand 2-1, including their most recent meeting in the 2006 Melbourne Games. But by no means will it be an easy contest for India, as the Black Sticks have showed tremendous improvement in their recent outings.
"We now move into the second phase of the tournament," India's head coach Terry Walsh said. "Unfortunately, we will play without Sardar who is under a one match suspension. New Zealand are well versed in these contests and this is our challenge"
Black Sticks' penalty corner specialist Andy Howard is in good form and India have to remain cautious and avoid conceding penalty corners. Indian team will be pounding upon Rupinder Pal Singh, who has scored seven goals, including five from penalty corners.
"Our team is growing game-by-game and this match will measure how far we have developed," Walsh insisted. "Our scoring options are real threats and our defensive structure will need to be at its best. Our confidence and self belief will determine the outcome of this game."
India Squad: Goalkeeper: PR Sreejesh (vice-captain)
Defenders: Gurbaj Singh, Birendra Lakra, Rupinder Pal Singh, Kothajit Singh, VR Raghunath
Midfielders: Dharamvir Singh, Sardar Singh (c) (Suspended), 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 match between New Zealand and India, is scheduled for a 12:15 pm local time (4:40 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.