The Indian women's hockey team aims to start the 17th Asian Games campaign on a winning note when it takes on Thailand in a pool A match at the Soenhak Hockey Stadium here on Monday. (Day 2 Blog | Medal Tally)
In the previous edition of Asian Games, Indian eves had defeated Thailand 13-0 and the Neil Hawgood-coached side will be hoping of a similar outcome this time around as well.
"The girls are looking forward to start the competition after being here now for seven days and are very keen to play the first match and start it with a win," Hawgood said on Sunday. (Ghosal, Pallikal Assure India Squash Madal)
"We have had a good build-up here and are ready to start with a strong performance against Thailand. The aim is to build pressure on the opponents from the start of the game and keep scoring which will force them to play defensive," the head coach added.
With vice Captain Deepika at the helm of defence and skipper Ritu Rani guiding the others as the centre-half, it is the forwards Rani Rampal, Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya and Navjot Kaur who will play the crucial role of penetrating the defence of the opponents and creating the much required pressure on them.
Among others, defenders Sushila Chanu, Deep Grace Ekka and Namita Toppo would also aim to leave their mark alongwith Jaspreet Kaur, who will be the first-preferred penalty corner specialist.
Speaking ahead of the all-important opener, skipper Rani said: "We are excited and confident. We will win and will look at continuing the form in all the matches during the tournament."
"We are confident of reaching the final and that is our aim. I am looking at drag-flicker Jaspreet Kaur to give us the edge over the opponents with her brilliant penalty corner conversions," she added.