India men’s hockey team has done well in recent times with impressive performances in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics last year and Asia Cup 2022. The glory days have returned for Indian hockey and the next challenge for them is the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
They won a bronze medal in Olympics after registering a sensational 5-4 over Germany which helped them regain the fan following which dropped in the past few years. Under Rupinder Pal Singh’s captaincy, India had a memorable campaign in Asia Cup where they beat Japan 1-0 in the bronze medal match.
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However, the fans now have high hopes for the Indian team and want them to up their game and get the gold in Birmingham.
India are placed in Pool B, comprising hosts England, Wales, Canada, and Ghana. They will start their campaign on July 31 against Ghana. England are going to be their toughest competitor in the group. The top two teams will enter the semifinals and India have a strong chance to end up there but the primary focus is to top the group.
In Pool A Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Scotland will fight it out to get a place in the semifinals.
India don’t have the best of records in the Commonwealth Games as they have managed to win just two medals in five appearances. While they failed to qualify for the event in 2002.
They finished fourth in the 2018 event after losing the bronze medal match to England. Manpreet Singh and Co. will aim to take revenge on the hosts this time in the Group Stage clash.
Meanwhile, India also have to keep an eye on Australia, who have always been a major threat to them in the CWG. They lost to the number 1 ranked Australian team twice in CWG finals (2010 and 2014).
The spotlight will be on the senior stars to get the job done in Birmingham. PR Sreejesh has to once again play a big role as the goalkeeper, India rely heavily on him during the set-pieces. Although India have a solid defensive unit, the onus will be on vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh to inspire the team from the back. While Skipper Manpreet has the job to link up with the star forwards to breach the opposition’s defence.
India Men’s hockey squad:
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak
Defenders: Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh (vice captain), Amit Rohidas, Jugraj Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh
Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (captain), Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Nilakanta Sharma
Forwards: Mandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Abhishek.
India Men’s Hockey Schedule:
July 31: India vs Ghana
August 1: India vs England
August 3: India vs Canada
August 4: India vs Wales
Unlike, the men’s team, the women will be under pressure for the 2022 Commonwealth Games after an underwhelming show in FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup Spain & Netherlands 2022.
However, the women’s team had a memorable show in Tokyo Olympics where they finished fourth. While they ended up at the third spot in the maiden Pro League season this year.
The Indian women’s team has a good track record in the Commonwealth Games with a gold medal way back in 2002, while they settled for silver in the following edition in 2006. In the 2018 Gold Coast Games, India women’s finished fourth and failed to get the medal after losing the bronze-medal clash.
The India team, captained by Savita, begins its campaign on July 29 against Ghana, before playing Wales on July 30, England on August 2 and Canada on August 3 in the preliminary round.
India Women’s Hockey Squad:
Goalkeepers: Savita (captain), Rajani Etimarpu
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (vice-captain), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita
Midfielders: Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, Salima Tete
Forwards: Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi, Sangita Kumar
India Women’s Hockey Schedule:
July 29: India vs Ghana
July 30: India vs Wales
August 2: India vs England
August 3: India vs Canada
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