With an eye on the title, a resurgent India would be eyeing to start their Azlan Shah Cup campaign on a winning note when they take on debutant Egypt in the opening match of the five-nation hockey tournament in Malaysia on Sunday.
India, on a redemption journey after last year's Olympic debacle, is presently on a high after a recent run of success at home and Down Under, including the runners-up finish at the Punjab Gold Cup in Chandigarh, but coach-in-charge Harendra Singh is in no mood to take Egypt lightly as he wants to use the platform as a build up to the Asia Cup.
"For the Asian teams the priority is the Asia Cup in May. This is just a testing ground. The teams playing in the Azlan Shah will be eyeing to to develop a strategy for the Asia Cup," Harendra said.
Three-time champions India won the title in 1985, 1991 and 1995 before losing out to Argentina last year by the golden goal.
Harendra was upbeat after India defeated the title favourites and highest-ranked team in the tournament New Zealand 2-1 in a practice game on Friday, saying he expected his boys to get into their stride and strike the right rhythm from the beginning.