**Bhubaneswar:** Defending champions of the Hockey Men’s World Cup, Australian team ‘Kookaburras’, is not taking any pressure to defend its title in this year’s edition, said captain Aran Zalewski today.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Zalewski said, “We have got 10 guys making their debut in World Cup here in India. It is very exciting for them but for us as a team this is our first real chance as winning World Cup as a group. So we are not taking any pressure to defend the title but looking it as a challenge.”
The Australian team will play against Ireland on Friday at the Kalinga Stadium here. Coach Colin Batch said the team’s approach is to look the tournament as a challenge. “With the match starting today we will have a good look at some of the teams competing but our focus will be on Ireland,” he added.
Speaking about the Indian Men’s Hockey team, Colin said the team they played against in the Champions Trophy is the best Indian team the Kookaburras have seen for a while.
“I think they would play well here, but again it’s the best team who play consistently, rock through the tournament and play their best in the critical stages make sure they continue in the tournament. Indian team is a good team and everyone in World Hockey respects them unanimously, [SIC]” he added.
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