World number one Australian men’s hockey team have been out of international competition for close to eight months since featuring in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, where they bagged a silver medal after losing to Belgium in a shootout in the final. The Colin Batch-coached Kookaburras had opted out of the ongoing 2021-22 Pro League owing to Covid-19-induced international travel restrictions.
Australia would press the international competition button when they play a four Test series against Malaysia from April 21-28 at the Perth Hockey Stadium in Curtin University. The five Test series to be played on April 23, 24, 26, and 28, would enable the Kookaburras to fine-tune their preparations as they would seek to defend their Commonwealth Games gold medal in Birmingham in July. Australia last played Malaysia at the 2018 Invitational Event in Darwin, where the Kookaburras won comfortably 5-2.
For Malaysia, it would be their first international engagement since the two Test series against Ireland held in October 2021. Malysia scored four goals in a space of 11 minutes to win the second Test 4-2 after narrowly losing the first Test 2-3.
The Arul Selvaraj-coached Malaysians would have their task cut out against the mighty Aussies, who are likely to a number of debutants in a bid to get the right combination going for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.