Thursday, 28 October 2021

India Hockey Team to eye Semi final slot in Olympic after 41 years

India Hockey Team to eye Semi final slot in Olympic after 41 years

History calls the Indian men's hockey team at the Olympics. The eight-time champions look to book a last-four berth in sporting extravaganza after a break of 41 yrs when they take on the UK on Sunday in a quarterfinal match.

With eight gold medals in its bag, Indian hockey has a rich history of the Olympics, with the last triumph coming back in the 1980 Moscow Games.

Since then, Indian hockey has witnessed a falling slump as the past masters of the game registered its best finish a fifth place in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

We failed to qualify in the 2008 Beijing Games and finishing last in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

But the last five years observed a significant improvement in India's performances, which propelled them to third place in the world rankings.

After taking over the side two years ago, Australian Graham Reid has brought a sense of self-belief, bonding, and confidence among the Indian players, lacking as they often wilt under pressure despite having the requisite skills to be world-beaters.

Excepting defeat of 1-7 against Australia, so far, the Indians had an ideal Olympic campaign, having register four wins out of five matches to finish second in Pool A behind the Kookaburras.

On the other hand, Great Britain finished third in Pool B with two wins, many losses, and one draw.

Beyond doubt, India's confidence should be sky-high, having registered three consecutive wins after the daunting defeat against Australia.

India Hockey Team to eye Semi final slot in Olympic after 41 years 1getty image

Read More: The club Bengaluru FC extended a footballer’s deal till 2023 for Sunil Chhetri

India should start as favorites against the world no.5 UK.

The Indians have been majestic upfront, creating numerous scoring chances so far in the Games, but the forward line led by Mandeep Singh needs to get the performance from both at one time.

Known for his quick reflexes inside the opponent area, Mandeep, in particular, has let down so far, but the likes of Gurjant Singh and Simranjeet Singh have tried to make up for him.

India's vital areas in the competition have been its midfield, which comprises skipper Manpreet Singh and Nilkanata Sharma.
India would be hoping its most significant strength drag flickers Rupinder Pal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh vice-captain Amit Rohidas, and Varun Kumar rise to the occasion.

The most critical area which remains a cause of concern for coach Reid is the team's backline led by experienced PR Sreejesh, goalkeeper.

While Sreejesh has lifted the game by bounds and leaps after conceding seven goals against Australia, Veteran Birender Lakra, Rohidas, Harmanpreet, and Rupinder need to be at their toes against the British.

India's chief coach Reid too harped that the team needs to raise their game inside the opponent circle into business at the end of the tournament.

He had said after the team's last pool match.

"Trying to get on to pace that we are going to need on Sunday match. Good to get a many of field goals, produced a lot of chance against Japan, but I think we need to get finer outcomes in the circle,"

Going by the head-to-head record in Olympics, there is hardly differentiate anything between the two sides.

India has played Great Britain eight times in the Olympics, winning four and losing as many games.

India holds an edge in terms of goals scored in the Olympics against their next opponents, having scored 18 and conceded 13.

Follow Us

Popular Post

School in Delhi to re-open from 1st November

School in Delhi to re-open from 1st November

Farhan Sayyed Oct 27, 2021 Politics

After more than eighteen months, all schools in Delhi will be permitted to re-open for all classes, including at the primary level—from 1st November. ...