Hockey: India (W) lose series after 3-2 loss against Australia

Australia beat India 3-2 in the second game of the three-match series. David Mariuz/ Hockey Australia

India women's hockey team put out an improved performance but lost second consecutive game of the three-match series against Australia 3-2 in Adelaide.

Tatum Stewart (12th, 45th minutes) scored a brace for Australia, while Pippa Morgan (38th) was the other goal scorer for the hosts. India's goals were scored by Sangita Kumari (13th) and Gurjit Kaur (17th).

India, ranked eighth, had earlier lost 2-4 in the series opener on Thursday at the Mate Stadium. The third and final match of the series will be played on Sunday.

Unlike the series opener, it was far a better and impressive display from the Indian team. They came out all guns blazing and pressed hard on the Australian goal from the onset.

India did most of the attacking in the opening two quarters, resulting in some bright chances.

They earned their first penalty corner in the eighth minute but Gurjit's fierce flick was saved by Australian captain and goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram. But it was Australia who took the lead against the run of play in the 12th minute from a penalty corner through Stewart, who scored her first international goal.

India responded immediately through a fine field goal. Salima Tete started the move from the midfield and passed the ball on to Sharmila Devi inside the circle, whose pass was deflected in by Sangita for her second goal of the series.

India continued in the same vein in the second quarter as the Hockeyroos hardly managed to get inside the Indian circle.

India took the lead two minutes into the second quarter when Gurjit converted the second of back-to-back penalty corners.

Lalremsiami then came close to scoring in the 22nd minute but her reverse hit try went just wide.

A minute from half time, India secured another set piece but failed to utilise it.

Trailing 1-2, Australia made up for their lacklustre performance in the first half as they looked more coordinated and purposeful after the change of ends. They attacked the Indian citadel in numbers in the third quarter and their efforts bore fruit as they scored two goals.

In the 38th minute, India skipper Savita made a double save in front of the goal but couldn't prevent from conceding a penalty corner. Morgan scored from a fine variation.

Australia secured another penalty corner 38 seconds from the end of the third quarter, which resulted to a stroke after the goal-mouth ball struck Monika's feet. Stewart made no mistake to score her second of the day and hand the hosts 3-2 lead.

In search of the equaliser, India attacked in numbers in the fourth and final quarter and had created a few close chances, one in the form of a penalty corner also, but could not find the back of the net as Australia held on to the slender lead.

India will also play Australia 'A' team during the tour, which kick started their preparations for the Hangzhou Asian Games later this year.