Bhubaneswar, PTI. In this year’s Tokyo Olympics, the senior men’s team made the country proud by winning a medal by performing a historic performance. The World Cup is the target of the Indian junior team. In this tournament being organized in India, the team wants to give the country a chance to dance once again by showing a bang. The Indian team has faced a big problem before entering the tournament. Due to not participating in series or tournaments with foreign teams, the practice of the team has not been done as well.

Indian hockey team head coach Graham Reid on Monday said it was extremely useful for the junior team to play warm-up matches against the senior hockey team ahead of the Junior World Cup in the absence of overseas competition. The tournament is scheduled to be played from November 24 to December 5 at the Kalinga Stadium here in which India will take on the defending champions.

“We didn’t get a chance to play overseas but we did play a couple of matches against the senior team in Bhubaneswar which were very useful,” Reid said. After coming to Bhubaneshwar, we adjusted to the stadium. The Kalinga Stadium is truly spectacular. It is good that we are practicing here before the tournament starts.

Defending champions India are placed in Group B along with Canada, France and Poland. All these teams reached here only last week. The Indian junior team led by Vivek Sagar will try to retain the trophy in front of their home crowd. Vivek, a member of the team that won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, said, “Our team became champions in 2016 and we aim to perform in the same way.”

Teams from 16 countries are participating in the competition. The teams are divided into four pools. The top two teams from each pool will advance to the quarter-finals. India will play their first match against France on the same day.

Edited By: Viplove Kumar