With eye on FIH World Cup, India start in Group of Death

India
Image Source : HOCKEY INDIA India Hockey Team

The Indian hockey team is set to compete at the FIH World Cup scheduled from 13th January to 29th January next year. In the recently declared draws, Team India is placed in a Pool with tough competitors and it will not be an easy task for them to advance to the final.

World No. 5 India are placed in Pool D along with England (World No.6), Spain (World No.8), and Wales.

While Team Spain is improving and becoming stronger since last year, England who are currently playing quality hockey will prove to be difficult competitors.

The previous encounter of India against England which was at the Commonwealth Games ended in a draw. On the other hand, Team India beat Wales by 4-1 in the multi-nation tournament.

The teams are divided into four groups namely A, B, C, and D. According to the format, the pool winners will advance directly to the quarterfinals, while the teams placed second and third will have to play crossover matches to progress. 

India’s Chief coach Graham Reid gave his take on India’s placement in the draws, “The pools in the FIH Hockey World Cup and the Olympics are always difficult. Every team is there to win. We just played England and Wales in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and the games were of the highest quality.”

“To top that off with Spain who have been improving in the last 12 months will make the first-round games very difficult,” he added.

Team India failed to cross the quarterfinal hurdles in the last World Cup, which was also hosted by Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium in 2018.

But this time around, Reid is hopeful of improving their past record.

“It is a very different team than it was four years ago, with different experiences and some different personnel. We are looking forward to the World Cup and playing in front of our home crowd,” Reid said.

Following are the pools for the marquee event

  • Pool A: Australia, Argentina, France, South Africa
  • Pool B: Belgium, Germany, Korea, Japan
  • Pool C: Netherlands, New Zealand, Malaysia, Chile
  • Pool D: India, England, Spain, Wales.

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