The Indian women hockey team is set to face New Zealand in their second match of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at the Glasgow National Hockey Center on Sunday.
The Indian eves defeated Canada 4-2 in their opening fixture, with Rani Rampal opening the scoring, fellow striker Poonam Rani adding a second and dragflicker Jaspreet Kaur scoring a second half brace against their North American opponents.
India played attacking hockey throughout the match and went into halftime 2-1 up. And Jaspreet scored twice in the second half to seal the encounter.
Skipper Ritu Rani was pleased to kick off the campaign with a win and insisted that her players are in good shape after an impressive performance against Canada.
"I am extremely elated at the manner the team kick started the tournament," Rani said. "Victory in the very first match of the tournament has given a new dimension to the hopes and aspirations of the players. The team is in good shape and will perform its best in all aspects of the match."
Rani stressed that though the team is high on confidence, they will not take New Zealand - who are currently fourth in the FIH world rankings - lightly.
"While we are high on confidence but we cannot take the opponents lightly hence we are focused and aim to add to the winning tally yet again," the Indian skipper insisted.
The Indian eves have played the Black Sticks thrice in CWG and won twice, including their most recent meeting in the 2006 Melbourne Games. Coach Neil Hawgood believes that his players are in good form and will give New Zealand a tough fight.
"The team is in good form and their efforts are visible on the field," he said. "The girls are excited and will try to maintain the winning momentum in the event. We have worked on our penalty corner conversions during our practice session here today.
The Black Sticks women finished fourth in the recently concluded world cup at The Hague, and in their opening encounter, they thrashed Trinidad and Tobago 14-0.
"The match against New Zealand will be a battle of wits and our team will be raring to prove their point yet again," Hawgood added.
Indian Squad: Goalkeeper: Savita
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Deepika, Kirandeep Kaur, Namita Toppo and Jaspreet Kaur.
Midfielders: Ritu Rani (c), Sushila Chanu, Lilima Minz, Vandana Katariya and Navjot Kaur.
Forwards: Rani Rampal, Poonam Rani, Ritusha Arya, Anupa Barla and Anuradha Devi.
Where to Watch Live
The match between India and New Zealand is set for a 4:00 pm local time (8:30 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.