The 2016 Rio Olympics men's field hockey schedule, which was announced on Wednesday, witnesses India in a tough group. India find themselves in Group B along with Argentina, Canada, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands.
A Group that includes the Netherlands and Germany is always going to be a tough one, as the two European nations are among the favourites for the gold medal in Rio. Other teams like Canada and Argentina have gradually become a formidable side of late as well. With such quality teams in Group B, it can be termed as a 'Group of Death'.
If India are to even have any chance of making it to the knockout rounds, they need their players to fire in all cylinders in Brazil. Experienced campaigners like Sardar Singh need to lead from the front.
Only top four teams from each group reaches the knockout phase in Rio Olympics 2016.
Despite such teams in the group, India coach Roelant Oltmans wants to view this as an opportunity to improve their hockey standards.
"We will play the three top teams of our group back to back. Instead of looking at that as a daunting task we think it's a great opportunity. It'll help us keep improving our level, and positive results will give us more confidence from game to game," Press Trust of India quoted Oltmans as saying.
The schedule for the women's competition has also been released. India women are in a group, which have Japan, Great Britain, Australia, USA and Argentina.