Rotterdam, 12 June: With their eyes firmly set on next year’s World Cup, a new-look India will start as overwhelming favourites against minnows Ireland in their opening match of the men’s competition of the FIH World League Round 3, here tomorrow.

  • However, it won’t be easy for the Indians as they have been grouped along side mighty Netherlands and New Zealand apart from Ireland in Pool B of the World League Round 3 (Semi-final), which is a qualifying tournament for next year’s World Cup in Hague.
  • Currently ranked 11th in the world, eight-time Olympic champions India enjoy an upper hand over 15th ranked Ireland who will start the game as underdogs in the event to be held from June 13-23.
  • The Indian team for the World League Round 3 is a fine combination of youth and experience with senior drag-flicker Sandeep Singh and forward Shivendra Singh making their comeback into the national squad.

Sandeep, who was left out of the Indian squad for the FIH Hockey World League Round 2 held here earlier this year, returned to the national side along with Shivendra, who last played for India in last year’s London Olympics. pti