Graham Reid is looking to put his disastrous 2016 Rio campaign for Kookaburras behind him, and work forward with India after qualifying into next year's even with victories over Russia in the Olympic Qualifiers.
Despite the gorge in world rankings, Russia dished out a fighting effort to surprise the hosts and keep the difference of goals to just two, after Mandeep Singh had bagged a brace with Harmanpreet Singh and SV Sunil, both bagging one each.
After Gurjit Kaur's brace and goals from Lilima Minz, Sharmila Devi and Navneet Kaur, India now need to defend their four-goal advantage in Saturday's second leg against USA to seal their Tokyo 2020 ticket.
Eight-time Olympic champions India men are ranked five in the world while the Russians are placed 22 in the FIH rankings, while the women American team is placed four places below India, who are ranked 9.
The Indian women's team, currently ranked 10th in the world rankings, will face tough challenges against the likes of Australia, China (11th) and hosts Japan (14th) at the Olympic Test event, scheduled to begin in Tokyo on August 17.