India takes on world champions Australia in the third match of 2018 Hockey Champions Trophy in Breda, the Netherlands on Wednesday, June 27.
When is the match and how to watch it live
The much-anticipated group-stage encounter between India and Australia will start at 3 pm local time, 6:30 pm IST.
Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD will provide live television coverage of the match in India. The live stream will be available on Hotstar and Jio TV.
Can India upstage the defending champions?
Harendra Singh's men have had the best possible start to their campaign as they are on top of the six-team table after thumping arch-rivals Pakistan 4-0 on June 23, and stunning reigning Olympic champions Argentina on the following day.
Sitting comfortably in the top spot with six points from two matches, the Men in Blue will be hoping to extend their dominance against the top-ranked side in the world.
Coach Singh has focussed on attacking gameplay and the team has delivered on the front by playing fearlessly.
With veteran Sardar Singh, who was dropped for India's disappointing Commonwealth Games campaign, controlling the midfield superbly well, the likes of Mandeep Singh, SV Sunil, Lalit Upadhyay, and Dilpreet Singh have been able to threaten the opposition defence.
Indian players have also displayed improved fitness levels, which they used to outclass Pakistan, scoring three goals in the last six minutes of the match.
Against Argentina, the defence impressed as they did well to keep out the team's biggest threat Gonzalo Peillat, from doing damage. The sixth-ranked side managed to hold on to a one-goal lead in the second half, frustrating the Argentine camp.
Coach Singh plays down Ramandeep's absence
India might not have Ramandeep Singh on the field due to a fractured knee, but coach Singh is confident that the absence of the experienced forward will not affect the team's chances of making the final.
"We will certainly miss him, we missed him against Argentina too. He is an experienced player and the way he creates space and takes shots on goal has worked for the team. Playing high-speed hockey with 17 players can get a bit tiring for the players. But that should not be a deterrent in our pursuit to earn a place in the Final," Singh said, as quoted by IANS.
'Need to carry on the momentum against Australia'
Coach Harendra Singh, the former India international, who also insisted the good start in the ongoing tournament, will help the team approach the game against the defending champions with confidence. However, he said the team is wary of the advantage Australia have when it comes to fitness levels and speed.
The team has so much more potential and it's time they stop hanging on to the No.6 spot in the world and surge to the top three. We have always spoken about doing well against the top 5 world ranked teams. I think this is the best chance to show that we can," Coach Singh added.
"Australia are among the fittest teams in the world, they play with a lot of speed like us and are consistent but we need to carry on the momentum we have started with."
Australia are in the second spot of the table with two points lesser than leaders, India. The Kookaburras had played out a 3-3 draw with world number Belgium in their first tie of the tournament and edged past Pakistan 2-1 in their most recent encounter.
Global TV listings: Champions Trophy Hockey 2018
- UK: BT Sport 1, BT Sport 1 HD
- Pakistan: PTV Sport