New Delhi: A tough opening contest awaits Indian junior women's hockey team in the Volvo Invitational U-21 tournament as it prepares to take on hosts The Netherlands in its first match in Breda.
The opponent, notwithstanding, the Indian girls would be hoping for a positive start to the tournament.
After gaining a good experience during their tour to New Zealand last year where they drew three matches, lost two and won one, the Indian eves seem confident of performing well at the big stage.
After the match against the home team, the Indian side led by Rani Rampal will face Germany, followed by games against England, New Zealand and China.
Speaking on the team's tournament opener, captain Rani said: "We are looking forward to performing to the best of our capabilities in the match against The Netherlands and start well in the tournament.
"With the world's best teams participating, we will aim to get on the field with good tactics and enough zeal, and showcase the strength of our team. We have practised hard and hope to give a tough fight in all the games."
India's coach N S Saini added: "The team is well prepared for the first clash against The Netherlands and will definitely put up their best game skills. The tournament is crucial for the girls to boost their morale for the upcoming major tournaments and hence we will not only try to perform well but also take the best lessons."
The Volvo International U-21 tournament will be held from July 19-26.