Guwahati, Feb 6 (IANS) The Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams will open their campaigns at the 12th South Asian Games against Bangladesh and Nepal respectively at the Moullana MD. Tayabullah Hockey Stadium, Bhetapara, here on Sunday.
The men’s competition consists of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. India will be one of the favourites in the group but Pakistan will look to give the home team tough competition.
India have not won the gold medal in the past two editions and this time, the Mandeep Antil-led side will look to reverse the trend.
The player in focus will be defender Gurbaj Singh, who is making his comeback after being suspended for by Hockey India (HI) for misbehaviour.
The 2012 Olympian will look to make the best of the opportunity to get into the national side for Rio Olympics after missing out on ongoing Hockey India League (HIL) action.
The women’s team will play their first match against Nepal and will be the hot favourites to win the gold medal. The team which is led by Ritu Rani will be looking to make the most of these matches as it will act as the warm-up before the South African tour.
On the tour the women’s team will be facing the South African, Scottish and German squads. The women’s group in the 12th South Asian Games consists of Nepal and Sri Lanka.