India took control of the four-Test men’s hockey series on Saturday night, beating Australia 1-0 for a 2-1 lead.
It was only the second loss for the Kookaburras since January; they lost the second Test 2-1, having won the opener 4-0.
India prevailed through a 34th minute goal from Sunil Sowmarpet at Perth’s Curtain University as the home side found themselves unable to convert their attacking opportunities.
“India is one of the strongest teams and our guys are understanding that,” Kookaburras coach Graham Reid said.
“I feel the debutants are now starting to get a feel of how fast international players are, especially when they are up against one of the quickest teams.
“India dominated the midfield, which makes it extremely difficult to set up our attacks, this is something we need to keep working on coming into the final Test Sunday.
“There are a few things that we, as a team have been working on, which we were able to pull off tonight, like moving the ball quicker.”
Both teams are warming up for the Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar, India next month.
“We are going to want to get a consolidated effort by the team Sunday night, and full 15-minute periods of sustained pressure. Moving the ball quickly and some decent opportunities at goal will be crucial.”
Senior player Eddie Ockenden believes it has been a positive decision in bringing new faces into the training squad.
“It’s fantastic to have so many new guys come into the team, and I think they are doing such a great job. It’s great for our group to have them coming through, and they are doing a lot better than what I was doing in my first couple of games.”
Settling the nerves and finding his feet, recent debutant Matthew Dawson is pleased with his progress so far.
“It’s been pretty good so far, the boys are accommodating and I’m finding myself pretty comfortable out on the field. It’s always nice to get the first Test out of the way, and now with the nerves settling, hopefully I get another match tomorrow.”