A stern test awaits India when it takes on formidable Australia in its opening Pool ‘C’ match of the women’s junior hockey World Cup here on Saturday.

The 18-member Indian team, led by defender Sushila Chanu, will start the match as underdogs and has to dish out something extraordinary to upset the Australians at the Warsteiner Hockey Park.

India is placed in Pool ‘C’ along side New Zealand, Australia and Russia in the 16-team tournament.

After Australia, the Indians will play New Zealand on Sunday followed by their last pool match against Russia on July 30.

The other participating nations in the tournament are The Netherlands, Korea, USA and Ghana (Pool ‘A’); Argentina, China, South Africa and Canada (Pool ‘B’); England, hosts Germany, Belgium and Spain (Pool ‘D’).

Top two teams from each pool will enter the quarterfinals. The semifinals will be played on August 2 with the final scheduled for August 4.

The squad:

Goalkeepers: Sanarik Chanu, Bigan Soy. Defenders: Pinky Devi, Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo, Manjit Kaur, M.N. Poonamma, Sushila Chanu (captain), Monika. Midfielders: Lily Chanu, Lilima Minz, Navjot Kaur, Vandana Kataria, Ritusha Arya. Forwards: Poonam Rani, Rani (vice-captain), Anupa Barla, Navneet Kaur. — PTI

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