Defending champions India set out for men’s ice hockey Asian Cup in Jakarta | Ice Hockey News

BENGALURU: The Indian men’s ice hockey team, led by Olympic bronze medalist Birendra Lakra, left for Jakarta on Friday to defend the Asian Cup title.
The Indian team meets Japan, Pakistan and hosts Indonesia in Pool A, while Malaysia, Korea, Oman and Bangladesh are grouped in Pool B.
India will launch its campaign against Pakistan on Monday.
“The team is definitely excited. The Asia Cup is a very prestigious tournament and we will have quite a lot of players who will experience this tournament for the first time, so of course the mood in the team is quite optimistic,” said Birendra in a Hockey India- Publication.
“Our camp in SAI Bengaluru was quite tough and very fruitful. While we learned more about each player’s strengths and improved our communication on the field, Sardar (coach) was also very careful about our fitness.”
Speaking on his team’s prospects this year, Lakra said: “We just want to take it one game at a time, there will definitely be a lot of strained nerves ahead of the first game against Pakistan, but we will focus on our own game and move on from there. ”
India had defeated Malaysia in the final to take the title in the previous edition 2017 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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