MEN’S HOCKEY TEAM
The Indian hockey team is ranked no 5 in world and holds the number one position in Asia. Their recent Silver medal winning performance in champions trophy is an indication that the team is travelling in right direction.
In Asian games, the team is placed in a very easy group which comprises of South Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and Indonesia. They are excepted to top the group quite easily facing some challenge from South Korean team to that journey. In the other group, Pakistan and Malaysia are expected to occupy the top two spots and qualify to semifinals.
From last four stage, Indian hockey team has to play to their full potential to win the Gold medal and qualify for 2020 Olympics. The tournament will be very crucial for players to access their strengths and weakness before the World Cup in December. In the Champions trophy, Indian team played very well but their conversion rate from penalty corners and circle entries was very low. One of the biggest positive for the Indian team in champions trophy was their goalkeeper Sreejesh and defenders who played a big part in this successful tournament.
The comeback of Rupinder Pal Singh strengthens the defence and has a chance of improving the conversion rate in penalty corners. Another inclusion in Akashdeep Singh adds variety to forward line at same time brings a lot of experience to the table. All this put together makes Indian team favorite to win the gold medal again and avoid the complicated qualifying route to 2020 Olympics. Team is a combination of youth and experience where seniors can guide the youngsters when they are in need of help.
New coach Harendra Singh has brought back Sardar Singh into the frame and made him play his favorite position that is toact as a link between defenders and center-forwards. He performed the role really well to raise the level of the Indian team in Champions Trophy. If he is able to repeat his performance, the team can really perform well in Asian games.
According to our analysis, the Indian team will get a gold medal and qualify for Olympics. It will face challenges from Malaysian and Pakistan teams but they will be able to get through it with flying colors.
WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM
Women’s hockey team is ranked 9th in the world and holds number one position in Asia. Indian team finished 8th in recently held hockey world cup and it was their best performance in a world cup after a long time.
Women’s team is placed in a very easy group which comprises of Thailand, Kazakhstan, Indonesia and South Korea. The team will surely be in the top two and qualify for semifinal stage. In another group, Japan and China are expected to reach the semifinal stage.
It will be very tough for theteam to win Gold Medal and qualify for 2020 Olympics. They just have to play their best game in last four stage to defeat other teams in their quest for glory. From the style displayed by the team in Champions trophy, it is more of defensive in nature and waiting for right opportunity to attack and score goals. This strategy paid dividends for Indian team and they should adaptsame strategy in Asian games to make it a memorable one.
Women’s team have to surely increase their conversion rate out of penalty corners and circle entries into goals. It is one aspect they have to make it better in order to score goals at crucial times and supplement defense which is very strong with the assistance of Savita Punia in Goal. Coach Sjoerd Marijne has been very helpful in creating a positive atmosphere around the team and players. This had transformed into good performances on the field.
India will win gold for the first time after 1982 Asian Games and all players will be eager to carry their performance from world cup and replicate it in these games. If the forwards can perform equally or better than defense there is no team which can stop the Indian team from winning the Gold after 36 years.Hockey Players