Ipoh, Malaysia: Their campaign back on track after the morale-boosting win over arch-rivals Pakistan, India cannot afford to relax as they face another must-win situation against defending champions New Zealand on Thursday to stay alive in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia.
The Indians would also hope for the lady luck to smile on them as their stay in the competition also depends upon the results of other round-robin group matches.
Not only for the Indians, Thursday's duel is also a must-win one for the Black Sticks.
With three points from as many games, India are presently lying in the fourth position in the team standings behind top-placed Australia (7 points), hosts Malaysia (7) and New Zealand (3).
Malaysia's 1-1 draw against six-time champions Australia last night has made life difficult for other four competing teams.
The first drawn game between the two unbeaten teams of the tournament has meant that other aspirants will have to wait with bated breath and hope that Australia and Malaysia does not end up on the winning side in their respective next matches against Korea and Pakistan on Thursday.
A win for Australia and Malaysia will take them to 10 points, beyond the reach of India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Korea, who all have one win under their belt, and victories in their next two games will not be enough as they can at best reach nine points.