But, in their last outing at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup earlier this year, India defeated Malaysia 4-2.
Overall, India boast a formidable record against Malaysia. In the last 10 meetings between the two Asian rivals, India have won six, while Malaysia only managed three victories.
“We are looking forward to our first match against Malaysia tomorrow. We have had some good tough training sessions in both brand new stadiums. Historically, we have had some grand battles against Malaysia and I don’t see tomorrow being any different,” India’s chief coach Graham Reid said.
After Malaysia, the Indian men will play world no. 8 New Zealand on Sunday and world no. 16 Japan in their last round-robin match.
Meanwhile, the 10th-ranked Indian women’s team will have a relatively easy opener against Japan. Then, Indian women will face their toughest test in world no. 2 Australia, before facing world no. 11 China.
The Indian women will take heart from the fact that they beat Japan 3-1 in the final match of the FIH Series Finals in Hiroshima this year.
But Japan hold a slight edge over Indian women in the last 10 meetings between the two teams. While Japan have managed four victories, India have won three with three matches ending in draws.
“We are looking forward to a good start at the Olympic Test Event. This is a great opportunity for us to play against strong teams, and it will give us the chance to see where we need to improve ahead of the crucial FIH Olympic Qualifiers later this year,” Indian women’s team’s chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said. PTI