Home Sports Overdependence on Harmanpreet, Hardik’s Injury Cost India Dear in Disastrous Campaign

Overdependence on Harmanpreet, Hardik’s Injury Cost India Dear in Disastrous Campaign

Overdependence on Harmanpreet, Hardik’s Injury Cost India Dear in Disastrous Campaign


Patchy, inconsistent and lack of execution. These are the phrases used steadily by head coach Graham Reid throughout India’s disastrous FIH Men’s World Cup marketing campaign, which undid the workforce’s historic bronze-winning feat on the Tokyo Olympics.

The alternative of adjectives from the veteran coach and former Australia worldwide was indicative of the battle of his wards in this World Cup. This regardless of having 12 gamers from the Tokyo Games squad.

Also Read: HI President Rues Missed Chances As Hosts Bow Out of FIH World Cup

For a workforce that had come into the match with hopes of a primary podium end after the 1975 gold, crashing out earlier than the quarterfinals was nothing in need of a debacle.

This workforce was ok to at the least attain the quarterfinals, if not the semifinals. But who would have thought that the world quantity six residence facet would lose to 12th ranked New Zealand in the penalty shootout of the crossover match after being forward by two objectives on two events.

With crores of rupees being spent on the workforce’s coaching, publicity excursions and help workers salaries, it must have executed higher.

This was the fifth worst efficiency for the nation in the historical past of the World Cup. The greatest India can end in this match is ninth, for which they’ll start with their classification match towards Japan on January 26 in Rourkela.

Also Read: Coach Blames PC Conversion, Poor Defending After New Zealand Defeat

India is among the 4 groups to have taken half in all of the 15 editions of the World Cup they usually had completed beneath ninth on 4 events — in 1986 (12th), 1990 (10th), 2002 (10th) and 2006 (10th). They had completed ninth in 1998 and 2014.

In the final version, India had completed sixth after shedding to the Netherlands in the quarterfinals.

The causes for the early exit are quite a few, as Reid himself stated on the post-match press convention on Sunday. Two important causes have been the abysmal fee of penalty nook conversion and the dearth of ending by the forwards. Adding to this was the inconsistency in defending.

The woes in penalty nook conversion was too evident as India scored simply 5 objectives from the 26 penalty corners they earned throughout 4 matches. It is lower than one-fifth success fee which is unacceptable for a workforce in search of to transcend the quarterfinals.

Of the 5 objectives from the PCs, solely two have been from direct drag-flick — one from captain Harmanpreet towards Wales and the opposite from Varun Kumar towards New Zealand. The remaining three have been scored from the rebounds — from the sticks of Amit Rohidas, Shamsher Singh and Sukhjeet Singh.

Harmanpreet took most of India’s PCs however may rating simply twice. Though penalty nook conversion fee has gone down for many of the groups in latest years on account of higher defending and use of kit, India’s common of objectives from PCs is just too low as in comparison with different groups.

Lack of variation in taking penalty corners and an excessive amount of reliance on Harmanpreet value India pricey. In the Tokyo Olympics, India had a advantageous drag-flicker in Rupinder Pal Singh together with Harmanpreet, they usually had scored 10 objectives from 31 PCs with a wholesome one-third conversion fee.

Harmanpreet had scored six from the PC in Tokyo to emerge as some of the deadly drag-flickers in the wold. He was named the FIH Player of the Year in the final two years on the premise of PC conversions and stable defending, however kind abandoned him, at the least in drag-flick, in this World Cup.

Then comes “inconsistency” in both defending and attacking, which Reid rightly pointed out.

The Indian defensive unit did well in the first two pool matches — against Spain and England — with two consecutive clean sheets. India beat Spain 2-0 while holding a strong England to a goalless draw.

It was harakiri after that as the Indian defence conceded two goals against 14th ranked and tournament debutants Wales in the last pool match before letting in three against New Zealand to end their campaign.

India squandered a two-goal lead twice — 2-0 and then 3-1 — to finish 3-3 at the end of regulation time before losing 4-5 in sudden death against the Black Sticks.

The retirement of Rupinder and Birendra Lakra after Tokyo hit India hard as they were replaced in the World Cup team by the inexperienced Jarmanpreet Singh and Nilam Sanjeep Xess.

Former captain Manpreet Singh, who will turn 31 in June, was also not at his best in the middle of the park.

Reid refused to comment when asked if it was the best available team, saying that he will not speak about it as his side is yet to play two classification matches.

The lack of finishing is the main reason behind India’s debacle as the hosts failed to convert too many chances.

Against New Zealand too, India were clearly the dominant side with much more circle penetration but all those were not converted into goals.

“Ultimately, it is the lack of execution (in finishing),” Reid stated after the New Zealand match, summing it up.

Midfielder Hardik Singh’s absence in the final two matches, after his hamstring damage in the second sport towards England, proved pricey. The identical has been said by team-mate Akashadeep Singh.

Hardik had scored a superb objective from a solo effort towards Spain in the opening match. The Indian assault lacked selection in his absence towards Wales and New Zealand.

Hockey India president and former captain Dilip Tirkey agreed, saying “we wasted too many scoring alternatives and PCs.”

It is not known yet whether heads will roll in the team or in the selection committee after the debacle.

Harmanpreet, who took over from Manpreet after the Tokyo Olympics, asserted that his mediocre performance in penalty corner conversions was not due to captaincy pressure but just a lean patch in a prolific career.

Reid, however, added a new dimension to the whole episode, saying that the team needs a mental conditioning coach. His comments meant that his wards struggled to cope up with the mental aspect of the game and the pressure of expectations in a home World Cup.

Reid is not known for giving excuses after a bad performance, but the onus is on Hockey India and the Sports Ministry to take a call.

Whatever the reasons for this debacle, some experts have doubted that this Indian team would reach the semifinals. They had hoped that the vociferous home support could push the hosts into the last-four stage.

But after the 4-2 victory over tournament newcomers Wales — when India needed an eight-goal win to directly qualify for the quarterfinals — doubts started to creep in the minds of the most ardent supporters of the game.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 workers and is printed from a syndicated information company feed)


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