India drew level with a 3-1 win, after a decent performance in the second Test against New Zealand. India had earlier lost the first match of the four-Test series 2-0. Hence, the third Test match in Christchurch assumes greater importance as the winner inches closer to a series win.
India, who won the second Test match via a superb performance in the fourth quarter, have still not been able to come up with an all-round performance against the Black Sticks. They are yet to click in all departments of the game, as they have been below par in their defensive side.
New Zealand troubled the Indian defence in the second Test, but India's goalie, PR Sreejesh came up with some brilliant saves in the second and third quarter of the game to keep the score tied at 1-1. India scored two goals in the fourth quarter to register a victory.
Tickets have already been sold out for the double-header, which also features New Zealand Women facing Argentina Women.
Canterbury Hockey chief executive Rod Templeton is pleased that the fans are going to pour in numbers to see some world-class hockey.
"It's great to have the Black Sticks Men and Women as well as two highly ranked teams in India and Argentina playing here in the city. It's a fantastic way to profile the sport and allow not only Black Sticks fans, but those new to the sport, the opportunity to watch world-class hockey," New Zealand hockey official website quoted Templeton as saying.
"To host such a major international event has taken creativity and support from Hockey New Zealand, Canterbury Hockey and St Bede's College – and we are looking forward to the tests getting underway."
New Zealand, who are going to be fully supported by the home fans in Christchurch, are aware that they can trouble the Indian team once again like they did in the first Test, with players such as Kane Russell and Jared Panchia in their ranks.
However, talking about individual talent, India possess some world-class players as well, including influential midfielder, Sardar Singh and forwards such as Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Mandeep Singh. If these players gel together as a unit, they can make life miserabale for the home team's defence.
India, who possesses a strong squad, will consider the series as a failure if they fail to defeat the Black Sticks.
With the Hockey World League final set to start on 27 November in India, such series' are important in terms of preparation. Hence, India will know the need to emerge triumphant in the series as it could give them the much-needed confidence.
Where to watch live
The India vs New Zealand 3rd Test match has been scheduled for 8pm local time (12:30pm IST). Hockey fans can follow the game live on Hockey New Zealand official website.