India survived some anxious moments before romping home to a 5-2 victory over hosts Malaysia in the 15th Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.
Leading 3-0 by the 39th minute in the Pool 'A' match, India stumbled to let in two goals before regaining their composure and registering a convincing win in their second match of the eight-nation tournament.
Hari Prasad (13th minute), Gagan Ajit Singh (22nd, 56th), Sandeep Singh (39th) and Tushar Khandekar (54th) scored for the Indians, who had lost their opener to Australia 4-1.
The Malaysians, showing some spirit, scored through Azlan Misron (44th) and Jiwa Mohan (47th) but wasted five of the six penalty-corners they earned.
Earlier in the day, Korea upset Olympic champions and holders Australia 3-0 in a Pool 'A' match.
The Koreans scored thrice in the first-half, with Jang Jon Hyun converting two penalty corners (17th, 23rd minutes) and Kang Seong Jung sweeping home a Seo Jeong Ho pass in the 19th.
The Aussies paid dearly for their complacency and with three goals in arrears, left themselves far too much to do in the second session.
In the India-Malaysia match, the first-half clearly belonged to the Indians, who survived an early attempt by Chua Boon Huat and four penalty-corners to control the proceedings.
In fact, India could have knocked in far more than just two goals had Shivendra, Hari Prasad and Gagan been on target.
Later, Gagan found the target from a rebound after a penalty corner drive came off goalkeeper Kumar Subramaniam.
Crossing over, the Indians upped their tally on a Sandeep Singh penalty-corner conversion before turning defensive and allowing the Malaysians back into the match.
Misron's penalty-corner conversion buoyed the hosts and almost immediately Mohan deflected Abdul Jalil's pass following a huge mix-up in the Indian defence.
But before long, India came surging back with Khandekar finding the net on the second attempt with a reverse hit from a Sandeep Singh pass.
Then Gagan flicked home a penalty stroke after a stick-check on Shivendra Singh by goalkeeper Subramaniam.
Tuesday's matches (IST): Netherlands vs Argengina (12.30 pm) and Pakistan vs New Zealand (2.30 pm).