India aim to begin new season on a high at Sultan Azlan Shah Cup
India will hope to begin a new season on a strong note with a good performance at the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup -- beginning on Saturday -- which is seen as a precursor to the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final to be held in June.
Getting off to a good start in the season will be crucial in the lead-up to an all-important year where India also play the Asia Cup and Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneswar in the winter. The following year will see them compete at the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Champions Trophy and World Cup in
Bhubaneswar 2018 slated for next year.
Coming into this tournament, Roelant Oltmans-coached India had a 40-day long national camp where the players were put through a tough regime involving nearly five-six hours of intense training.
This year's edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, which is scheduled to run from April 29 to May 6, will see England, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea vie for top honours along with India.
Having arrived here in Malaysia a week before the start of the tournament, the Indian team has had enough time to get used to the humid conditions and is geared up for a good start at the tournament, according to captain P.R Sreejesh.