India starts favourite against Pakistan in U-21 Test hockey opener

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Lahore, Nov 10 (UNI) India start favourite against a new-look Pakistan when the two teams take on each other in the opening match of five-match Junior Under-21 Test Hockey series in Karachi tomorrow.

After a disastrous show at the Beijing Olympics, Pakistan will look to silence its crictics and utilise the home advantage at the refurbished Hockey Club.

Forward Shafqat Rasool will lead Pakistan team while drag-flick specailist Diwakar Ram will be the captain of Indian team.

It will be return of International hockey to the city after almost four years after the junior Asia Cup in which India beat Pakistan.

The new President of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Olympian Qasim Zia and Secretary Asif Bajwa is showing keenness for the revival of hockey in the country.

This Indo-Pak junior will be first stern test of both the top officials of PHF and junior team management.

Meanwhile India, keeping their track record, starts as the favorites having beaten Pakistan 3-1 in Junior Asian Cup in Hyderabad in July earlier this year.

It will help the two country's to gauge the performance of the two teams before next year's Junior World Cup jointly staged by Malaysia and Singapore next year.

Teams from: India: Mrinal Chaubey and C Santosh Kumar (goalkeepers) Diwakar Ram (Captain), Innocent Kullu, Manjit Kullu, Hari Kripal Yadav (full-backs), Birendra Lakra, Amardeep Ekka, Belsezer Horo, Vivek, Bupinder Pal Singh, Muhammad Asif (half-backs), Pramod Kumar, Jagwant Singh, Mandip Antil, Danish Mujtaba, Dharamvir Singh, Jai Karan, Muhammad Amir, Karamjit Singh (forwards).

Pakistan: Imran Shah, Waqas Ahmed (goalkeepers), Kashif Ali (Vice Captain), M Ateeq, Imran Abbas (full-backs) M Irfan, Zaheer Ahmed, Aamir Shehzad, Fareed Ahmed, M Rashid (half backs), Adeel Hussain, Shafqat Rasool (Captain), Haseem Khan, M Zubair, Shabaz, Rizwan, Taufeeq, Yasir, Hasan Akhtar, Azlan Khan (forwards).


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