Azlan Shah Cup: Indian stars missing

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> An under-strength Indian team is in Malaysia for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament and will face Germany in its first match on Friday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
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Kuala Lumpur:

An under-strength Indian team would be tested to the hilt when they take on formidable opponents in the seven-nation Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament, which begins on Friday. India, fielding a new look side in a bid to experiment with new combinations before the Olympics qualifiers, would face Germany in their opening match. The outcome would give indication of things in store for the inexperienced side in the prestigious 11-day tournament. Few would readily back India to win the event that also serves as a dress rehearsal for four of the teams - India, Pakistan, Malaysia and Spain - who would be travelling to Madrid in March for the Olympic qualifying competition. While the Indians have opted to bring a side consisting predominantly of junior players, the others - World Cup champions Germany, Asian Games gold medallists Korea, World Cup silver medallists Australia, besides Pakistan, Spain and Malaysia - will be at full strength. The Indians have obviously viewed the Azlan Shah Cup tournament, which they have won thrice (1985, 1991, 1995), as part of their preparations for the Madrid outing, and from then on, to the Athens Olympics in August. (PTI)

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