World Cup: Strain, Poor Execution Sank India’s World Cup Hopes


The wait to win their first Cup medal because the 1975 gold and excessive expectations because the 2021 Tokyo Olympics bronze medallists pulled India down, led to an early elimination.

“I’m not a hockey fan however my son noticed India win bronze on the Tokyo Olympics and began taking part in the game. We got here to observe India win however return with numerous disappointment,” a dejected Prasanto Mohanty, his son Prodip in an India jersey and the tricolour painted on his cheek standing subsequent to him, stated.

The Mohanty household like 16,000 others on the Kalinga Stadium, noticed India’s World Cup marketing campaign fizzle out. The world No 6 facet was eradicated by New Zealand, a facet with gamers doing common jobs who come collectively only some instances in a 12 months, in Sunday’s crossover conflict.

2023 1389 17472 001 c4 46 - World Cup: Pressure, Poor Execution Sank India’s World Cup Hopes - The Mohanty family like 16,000 others at the Kalinga Stadium, saw India’s World Cup campaign fizzle out. The world No 6 side was eliminated by New Zealand, a side with players doing regular jobs who come together only a few times in a year, in Sunday’s crossover clash.
Bhubaneswar, India FIH Odisha Hockey Males’s World Cup 2023 26 India v New Zealand (Crossover) Picture: Mandeep Singh dissapointed with the loss. (Picture by WorldSportPics/Frank Uijlenbroek)

However that was additionally the Tokyo Olympics affect. A bronze medal 41 years within the making had raised expectations. This World Cup is the primary because the 1982 Mumbai version when India went in as Olympic medallists.

It elevated the stress, and India wilted after stepping into as a favorite for the rostrum. “Not to mention the crossover, India didn’t look in form even within the pool levels. Whenever you play a event, every time (sport) it’s essential to enhance, not keep on the identical stage,” stated Dutch legend Jacques Brinkman, winner of two Olympic and World Cup titles every.

India’s 2021 Olympics bronze got here in entrance of virtually empty stands at Tokyo’s Oi Hockey Stadium. In distinction, packed stadiums — 21,800 in Rourkela and 16,000 in Bhubaneswar — scores of media personnel asking powerful questions, poor penalty nook (PC) makes an attempt, burden of being Olympic medallists all appeared to overwhelm the gamers.

The Graham Reid-coached facet had a golden alternative to construct on Tokyo. However India’s anticipate a World Cup medal because the 1975 triumph at Kuala Lumpur continues. “I’m certain stress and expectations all come into the combination. However I don’t suppose it’s the solely factor. We made errors which we don’t usually make. We have to analyse, speak and provide you with options,” the Aussie coach stated.

The primary cause for India’s debacle was poor PC conversion. Although they began with a 2-0 win over Spain, they missed a number of open probabilities. The ahead line faltered when it got here to changing probabilities. At their exit, India had made probably the most circle entries (94), however of their 49 pictures at objective within the 4 video games, solely 9 went in.

“We had numerous circle penetrations however couldn’t convert. Even in opposition to New Zealand, we scored three objectives which might usually be sufficient. Within the defence, we most likely wanted to be in entrance a bit extra, and a bit tighter,” Reid stated.

In Tokyo, India had began poorly. They scraped previous New Zealand and misplaced 1-7 to Australia earlier than the gamers obtained used to the circumstances. They then scored successive wins, over Spain, Olympic champions Argentina, Asian Video games champions Japan and Nice Britain. Six-team teams in Tokyo helped India bounce again. Odisha featured four-team teams with solely the topper straight qualifying for the quarterfinals.

A serious concern was the poor PC conversion. Solely 5 of the 27 PCs have been scored off, a conversion fee of 18.51%. India’s spearhead, skipper and PC specialist Harmanpreet Singh scored as soon as within the 4 video games. The absence of a world class drag-flicker like Rupinder Pal Singh — he retired after Tokyo — harm as the opposite sparkles Amit Rohidas, Nilam Sanjeep Xess and Varun Kumar are largely one dimensional.

A group wants a number of world class drag-flickers to win tournaments in trendy hockey. Belgium have 4 — Alexander Hendrickx, Tanguy Cosyns, Tom Boon and Loick Luypaert. Australia have Blake Govers and Jeremy Hayward. A number of sparkles give pushers extra choices and confuse the primary rushers.

His triple function – captaincy, main the defence and executing PCs – put Harmanpreet beneath stress. “I do know everyone seems to be speaking about me not scoring sufficient. I additionally needed to. I attempted, however it didn’t occur. Whenever you go on to the sphere, you don’t suppose you gained’t rating, you go in considering you’ll,” the very best scorer (18) within the 2021-22 Professional League sounded helpless.

Failing at man-to-man marking, defensive lapses, Manpreet Singh not delivering as playmaker and the midfield led by him not utilizing each the flanks throughout assaults, few aerial balls used to scatter the defence, common lack of possession and never urgent excessive have been the errors India made, within the final group sport in opposition to Wales and in opposition to New Zealand. “We let ourselves down, throwing the ball away made it tough. Each time we gained the ball, we gave it again. That was the telling issue. At this stage you may’t do this.”

There will likely be debate over the gamers chosen for the shootout. Reid believes in youth – he picked younger Shamsher Singh over Akashdeep Singh for the Olympics. That strategy backfired on Sunday. As an alternative of the skilled Manpreet, Akashdeep and Mandeep Singh, Reid opted for children like Abhishek, Shamsher and Sukhjeet Singh who all missed.

“An important factor is hockey on the worldwide stage, the choice is made by way of shootouts. In them, I used to be questioning what India have been doing. Harmanpreet, nice participant, finest on this planet, however what was he doing? They’ve to coach for shootouts,” stated Brinkman.

Although 13 of the 19 gamers at Tokyo have been on the World Cup, India maybe missed the likes of Sumit, Gurjant Singh, Dilpreet Singh and Simranjeet Singh, who scored twice within the bronze playoff in Tokyo in opposition to Germany.

Hardik Singh’s harm after the second sport harm because the midfielder was India’s finest participant till then. Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh obtained injured at a vital stage of the shootout. “Excuses don’t depend. Variations on the prime are small. I hope India proceed as a result of they’re on the suitable method. The Dutch, for instance, gained their final World Cup in 1998, which is 25 years in the past. It’s not really easy although they’ve the standard,” Brinkman stated.

By Sandip Sikdar



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