Behind the frustration of poor performance in the Commonwealth Games, the Indian hockey team will launch its campaign against opponent Pakistan on Saturday for the first time with the intention of making the title of the Champions Trophy. Asian champion India has not won a single Champions Trophy in 36 times and this time it will want to achieve this feat during the last season of the tournament.
The best performance of the Indian team was in 2016 when he won the Silver Medal after losing in a shootout from Australia. Eight-time Olympic champion Indian team finished fourth in the Commonwealth Games after a disappointing performance. After this, instead of Shard Marin of the Netherlands, Harendra Singh was made the coach of the men’s team, while Marin returned to the women’s team.
The world’s top six teams play in Champions Trophy and this time Olympic champion Argentina, the world’s number one team is playing Australia, Belgium, host Netherlands, India, and Pakistan. After playing against Pakistan, India will compete against Argentina (June 24), Australia (June 27), Belgium (June 28) and Netherlands (June 30).
The difference in the king
India is ranked sixth in the World Rankings and Pakistan is 13th but both are equal in the face-to-face bouts. Based on the results of the past few years, however, India’s margins will be huge. India defeated Pakistan in the Asian Champions Trophy 2016 final, after which they defeated them in the 2017 Hockey World League semi-finals in London and won the title after ten years after defeating them in the Asia Cup in Dhaka.
Under the guidance of former India coach and high-performance manager Roelant Oltmans, Pakistan stopped India at the draw in the Commonwealth Games. It will be a real challenge for Harendra’s Asian Games and World Cup, which will be the senior team coach for the third time. He said, “It is important to start with the victory because the goal is fixed. Emotion will be restrained before the match against Pakistan. We will play it like the other teams. ‘
In the Gold Coast, India had given the opportunity to youngsters like Sir Sardar Singh, but Harendra was not in the mood to do an experiment and on the basis of performance in the national camp, the team was selected. Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh will be the captain while SV Sunil and Sardar have returned to the team.
3 times champion is Pak
Pakistan won the Champions Trophy three times (1978, 1980 and 1994), but won the title every time on their own land. Pakistan has a good mix of experienced and young players. Captain Mohammad Rizwan Sr. has played more than 100 international matches. Shafqat Rasool has played 190 matches.