India's men are set to make their International Hockey Federation Hockey Pro League return after a 14-month absence with a double header against Argentina in Buenos Aires this weekend.
The visitors have not featured in the Pro League since beating Australia in a shootout in Bhubaneswar in February 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
India are fifth in the men's standings, a place ahead of Argentina prior to their encounters at the National Centre of High Performance Athletics tomorrow and Sunday (April 11).
"The biggest thing is getting back into the high level of competition that the Pro League brings," said India head coach Graham Reid.
"I know it will be the same for Argentina.
"It is a great opportunity and as far as the team is concerned, we have just been to Germany and Belgium.
"That was a really important tour for us as it got our feet wet and now we are looking forward to playing Pro League again."
With two matches against a very competitive Germany now under their belts, Argentina look to bounce back in their next set of #FIHProLeague matches against India. We spoke to Argentina’s Mariano Ronconi ahead of the clashes between India and Argentina.@ArgFieldHockey pic.twitter.com/01u1TiFaCe— International Hockey Federation (@FIH_Hockey) April 9, 2021
Argentina will be hoping to bounce back from their defeats to Germany when they take on India.
The hosts made a disappointing return to international competition following a coronavirus-enforced break when they were beaten by Germany last Saturday (April 3) and Sunday (April 4).
Argentina's Mariano Ronconi admitted the team were rusty during their games with Germany but said he was expecting an improvement against India.
"We found everything that we knew was going to happen: we lacked connections between players, we lacked playing as a team and it is normal because it’s been about 13 months that we haven’t played," said Ronconi.
"There is no way to train for this, this is a reality.
"The only way to train is by playing so we will keep on playing as much as we can if the pandemic allows."