Senior Indian defender Birendra Lakra is a doubtful starter in tomorrow's crucial quarterfinal clash against fourth-ranked Belgium as he is yet to recover from his back injury, said India's High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans.
Bruised and battered by the back-to-back defeats in the Champions Trophy hockey, India's experienced drag-flicker V R Raghunath said the hosts are keen to put up their "best show" in their last Pool B tie against World Cup silver medallist the Netherlands on Monday.
Rourkela Steel Plant on Monday felicitated Birendra Lakra, an alumnus of SAIL Hockey Academy, who was a part of the triumphant India team that defeated Pakistan in the final of men's hockey to bag the gold medal in Asian Games after 16 years.
A spirited Indian men's hockey team defeated arch-rivals and defending champions Pakistan 4-2 in a nerve-wracking shoot-out to end its 16-year gold medal draught in the Asian Games and earn a direct berth to the 2016 Rio Olympics, here on Thursday.
Gearing up to present a strong challenge at the upcoming World Cup, the Indian hockey team will head for a tour of Europe tomorrow to play five build-up games -- including two each against World Cup hosts The Netherlands.
Out of title race after a crushing defeat at the hands of Australia, hosts India would be hoping for a miracle when they take on Olympic champions Germany in the fifth-eighth place play-off game of the Hero Hockey World League Final, here tomorrow.
Hockey India has directed Hockey Jharkhand to send half back Birendra Lakra, the lone player from the state to get a berth in the national team, to attend a week-long camp in Delhi from February 11 to 18.