The Indian men's hockey team is set to play its first set of international matches in 2022 when they take on South Africa and France in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22.
The competition is scheduled to be underway from Tuesday, February 8 in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
"It's great to be in South Africa. We haven't often had the chance to play here at such a high level of competition, so we view this as a great opportunity. All the boys understand how difficult it is going to be against these teams here but we are very keen to get the new year off to a positive start," Chief Coach Graham Reid said in an official Hockey India release.
Ranked number 3 in the world, the Indian Men's Hockey team will take on France and hosts South Africa in alternate matches.
Speaking about the distinct format of competition in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22, Reid said, "There is a different dynamic in this tournament because you get some time between two matches against the same team, so it is a bit like a multi-nations tournament in some ways. It is an interesting format which adds a different aspect for teams when they are preparing for their opponents."
The Indian side comes into the tournament carrying the mantle of Olympic Bronze medallists at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"The players are excited to get back on the field since the Asian Champions Trophy towards the end of last year. We want to play well and settle into a good rhythm in the beginning of this year, because 2022 is a big year for us with the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games lined up this year," said captain Manpreet Singh.