World Hockey League Final: After Asia Cup triumph, India eye success at world stage
Bhubaneswar: An Asian powerhouse for some time now, India will purpose to make a mark on the world stage after they host the creme de la creme of worldwide hockey for the third and last version of the World League Last, beginning right here on Friday.
India will open their marketing campaign within the elite HWL Last in opposition to world champions and title holders Australia in Pool B tomorrow.
Barring a number of occasional losses, India have been ruling the roost within the continent, the latest among the many triumphs being the Asia Cup crown in Dhaka earlier this yr.
However as soon as an enormous of the sport with as many eight Olympic gold medals, India can be striving to make sure that they’re seen as greater than a regional bigwig.
In opposition to world no. 2 Australia, India have had restricted success in current instances. India have misplaced to the Kookaburras within the Champions Trophy, Azlan Shah and Commonwealth Video games in the previous few years.
And it will be a Herculean job to upstage the mighty Australians within the opening recreation of the eight-nation match that includes all the highest groups of the world.
The HWL last, actually, would be the first actual check for India’s new chief coach Sjoerd Marijne, who took over simply two months in the past from the legendary Roelant Oltmans.
Marijne may need tasted success in his first project — the Asia Cup — however the HWL Last can be a totally totally different ballgame for him.
The Indian selectors, whereas sacking Oltmans, made it clear that success at Asia stage will not be a benchmark and demanded outcomes on the world stage.
Since taking cost, Marijne hasn’t made any main change to the taking part in type or technique of the group.
As a substitute, the one new factor or concept he has introduced into the aspect is letting the gamers resolve the type of hockey they need to play. He has focussed on backroom preparation, a technique which has put extra duty on the shoulders of the gamers.
Marijne’s type of working appears to be delivering at the least going by the outcomes of the Asia Cup, a title which India gained after 10 years, beating Malaysia 2-1 within the last.
With a collection of huge occasions lined up for subsequent yr — the Asian Video games, Commonwealth Video games and World Cup –, Marijne can be wanting on the HWL Last as a chance to check the strengths and weaknesses of the aspect.
This may be the hosts’ likelihood to raised their bronze medal end on the final version of the match in 2015 at Raipur.
The Indians will subject a mixture of youth and expertise to be led by the dynamic Manpreet Singh, who has taken Sardar Singh’s place within the midfield.
In Harmanpreet Singh, Sumit, Dipsan Tirkey, Gurjant Singh and Varun Kumar, India have some shiny kids who excelled on the massive stage within the Junior World Cup final yr.
For the skilled duo of Rupinder Pal Singh and Birendra Lakra, the occasion is a chance to return to the nationwide group after being sidelined by accidents for a substantial period of time.
Amit Rohidas is one other participant who can be making a comeback, driving on his improbable outing within the 2017 Hockey India League.
In the meantime, Australia will even be beneath a brand new coach in Colin Batch, who did a splendid job with New Zealand in the previous few years.
The Australians, recognized for his or her aggressive type, will imply enterprise from the phrase go and want to add one other feather to their wonderful hockey historical past by defending the title right here.
The HWL Last can be Australia’s final match in 2017, forward of an enormous yr when the Kookaburras will compete within the Commonwealth Video games at house and the World Cup.
Because the reigning World, Champions Trophy, Oceania Cup, Hockey World League and Commonwealth Video games title champions , few can dispute Australia’s dominance within the recreation.
However after enduring a torrid time on the Rio 2016 Olympic Video games, the place a sixth-place end was their worst since 1960 and the primary time that they’d did not win a medal since 1988, Australia can be determined to reclaim their prime spot in worldwide hockey.
India are positioned in a troublesome Pool B which additionally options England and one other European powerhouse Germany, whereas Pool A includes Olympic champions Argentina, Netherlands, Belgium and Spain.
In the meantime, within the different recreation of the opening day, Germany will face England.