For Van Ass, who took over the reigns of the team from Australian Terry Walsh just three weeks ago, the Azlan Shah Cup is his first opportunity to look at the composition of the Indian side in a competitive set-up.

Besides Asian Games gold medallist India, world champions Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Korea and hosts Malaysia will fight it out for the top honours in the prestigious Azlan Shah Cup to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from April 5-12.

"This is a very capable team and as a unit they can give a tough time to the opponents on any given day. During the Champions Trophy they showcased they are hungry to win and open to take on newer challenges," Van Ass said before departing for Ipoh later tonight.

"This is my first assignment and I am expecting a very good start. In the last few days I have tried to understand each player's way of playing and have tried to guide them to improve on certain aspects," he said.

Captain Sardar Singh said the team is confident of displaying a good show in the tournament under the new coach.

"The team is upbeat and confident under the new chief coach. In the training sessions he has taught us to keep working on our strengths. He highlights our strengths and has guided us on how to work on our weaknesses," Sardar said.

India will open their campaign against Korea on April 5.

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