India aiming for an improved show against Australia

Young midfielder  striker Mac Wilcox made his senior international debut for New Zealand in last month's home series

Japan, ranked 16th in the world, capitalised on the national squad's weak display, getting the equaliser in the 40th minute through Shota Yamada from a penalty corner.

It was India who broke the deadlock, a penalty corner initially being misplaced, only for Akashdeep Singh to poke home well after Harry Gibson made a good save. "We have to win all our three remaining matches to have a chance of finishing among the top four to advance further", he said.

The Indian defenders were not able to clear the ball, which was switched around four Britons before Alan Forsyth's flick beat Indian custodian Sreejesh. India went into the half -time break with a 2-0 lead. That has allowed Mandeep Singh to score in each match, as opposition defences have found themselves tiring out from chasing the ball for long periods against India.

India forced a wealth of penalty corners throughout the match and two of them were converted by drag-flick specialist Harmanpreet Singh either side of halftime.

The Black Sticks' hope of coming back into the game in the third quarter was dented with a strong defensive structure showcased by India.

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Oltmans said he was afraid that todays afternoon game could be disrupted by the weather, which yesterday delayed the start of the match against Great Britain by two hours and interrupted the players preparations. They began by sharing points with Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand, but then warmed up nicely on Sunday with a 6-1 demolition job of Malaysia.

"Overall, I can live with the result, but I am not happy about the number of goal-scoring opportunities we created in the game", Oltmans said.

After a couple of early attempts on goal Craig gave the Kookaburras the edge in the 11 minute.

Harmanpret was given a chance ahead of the senior player Rupinder Pal Singh, to take six penalty corners of the seven India were awarded and Oltmans said that he justified the decision.

S.V Sunil came close to scoring in the 12th minute for India when he was assisted by Harmanpreet Singh.

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