The outstanding success on the Tokyo Olympics has ignited hopes of in-form Indian males’s hockey staff stopping the Australian juggernaut on the Commonwealth Video games in Birmingham. Australia’s dominance on the CWG is a matter of envy. Because the recreation’s introduction within the quadrennial occasion 24 years in the past, the world No.1 Australia has been essentially the most dominant drive, having received all six gold medals until date. Going by renewed optimism and perception among the many Indian gamers, it seems the boys’s staff has an ideal alternative to finish Australia’s gold rush on the occasion.
The Indian staff, which received a historic Olympic bronze after a hiatus of 41 years final yr, has improved by leaps and bounds below Australian Graham Reid.
India’s greatest end result got here in 2010 at residence (New Delhi) and in Glasgow (2014) when it completed runner-up. The staff completed fourth twice — in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, the place the game made its debut and in 2018 in Gold Coast.
In earlier editions, health was one space which was a reason for concern however the present Indian staff is taken into account one of many fittest sides in world hockey.
The improved health has translated into outcomes. After claiming a historic bronze in Tokyo, Indian males completed third on this season’s FIH Professional League behind Belgium and Netherlands.
And if the gamers play to their potential, there is no such thing as a motive why the Indians cannot deliver residence their maiden gold from Birmingham.
However it will be simpler stated than finished as competitors in hockey on the CWG is fairly powerful. In addition to Australia, the Indians may also need to get the higher of groups like New Zealand, England, arch-rivals Pakistan and Canada.
The Indian males are positioned in Pool B alongside aspect hosts England, Canada, Wales and Ghana, whereas Pool A consists of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Scotland.
India’s chief coach Graham Reid is fairly assured about his staff doing nicely in Birmingham.
“It is rather tough to foretell what is going to occur however something is feasible (on successful gold), as a result of the hole between groups in present worldwide hockey may be very little,” Reid informed PTI.
“However we will not management the uncontrollables. We will solely management what’s in our capability.” It isn’t that every part is hunky dory as there are some seen gray areas — like penalty nook conversion and defence — which Reid must work upon forward of the quadrennial occasion.
India boast a powerful penalty nook line up in vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Varun Kumar and younger Jugraj Singh however they should work on their conversion price.
The defenders too must do higher in the case of conceding gentle objectives.
In veteran PR Sreejesh, India have a world-class goalkeeper who is certainly eyeing a gold in what will likely be his final CWG.
“That is positively going to be my final CWG and I’m determined to return with a gold. Though Australia have received all of the golds to this point, this staff has the potential to beat Australia. We now have crushed them up to now as nicely,” Sreejesh stated.
Former India captain Sardar Singh too feels that India have an ideal alternative.
“This staff is stuffed with confidence after their efficiency in Tokyo and Professional League. What they only want is to present their greatest when it issues on the turf. If they’ll play to their potential, something can occur,” he stated.
The Indian ladies too would fancy their possibilities in Birmingham, particularly after an excellent Olympic marketing campaign in Tokyo, the place they completed a historic fourth, and cherished a creditable third place end of their maiden Professional League outing this season.
The Indian ladies’s greatest end result on the CWG got here in 2002 once they received the gold medal after which bagged silver within the following version in Melbourne.
The Indian ladies completed fourth twice — in 1998 and within the 2018 Gold Coast version.
In ladies’s hockey too, Australia have dominated CWG, bagging as many as 4 gold medals, one silver and a bronze. Nevertheless it was New Zealand who received gold in Gold Coast.
In addition to Australia and New Zealand, hosts England are additionally a podium contender.
The Indian ladies are positioned in Pool A alongside aspect England, Canada, Wales and Ghana. Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Scotland and Kenya full Pool B.
For Indian ladies too penalty nook conversion stays their greatest concern.
Within the latest World Cup, the Indians created loads of scoring possibilities from open play in addition to penalty corners however squandered a lot of the possibilities.
And going into the CWG, chief coach Janeke Schopman could be a much-improved from her forwards and dragflick professional Gurjit Kaur.
If all of the items fall into place, the Indian ladies can also step on the CWG podium.
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