Friday, March 31, 2023

Indian males’s hockey staff climb to No. 4 in world rankings

The Indian males’s hockey staff jumped two locations to fourth within the newest FIH rankings on the again of its uncommon back-to-back wins towards world champions Germany and Australia within the Professional League matches in Rourkela.

Considerably, India moved forward of hockey powerhouse Australia, who dropped one place to fifth.

Germany, who had been on high spot after profitable World Cup title in Odisha in January, additionally slipped two locations to 3rd spot after shedding back-to-back matches to India.

India gained all their 4 matches – two every towards Germany and Australia – of their FIH Professional League matches performed on the Birsa Munda Stadium, the world’s largest all-seater venue.

That is lower than two months after India made a surprising final 16 exit within the World Cup held right here and in Bhubaneswar in January.

India gained each the double-legged matches towards Germany 3-2 and 6-3 whereas they beat Australia 5-4 and 4-3 in penalty shootout (after 2-2 in regulation time) within the first and second video games.

Not solely the all-win efficiency took India to the highest of the FIH Professional League factors desk, the aspect led by Harmanpreet Singh jumped two locations from earlier sixth to fourth within the newest FIH rankings.

The Netherlands, who gained bronze within the World Cup, are on the high spot whereas runners-up Belgium occupy the second place within the newest rankings.

“These items (world rating) do not matter to us a lot. We do not hold this in thoughts after we play. Our solely precedence was to transform our probabilities and hold the stress on the opponent,” India captain Harmanpreet Singh mentioned.

“Among the kids who received a chance to indicate their expertise additionally stood as much as the event and did very nicely for themselves in addition to the staff,” mentioned Harmanpreet, who’s presently the main goal-scorer within the ongoing FIH Professional League with 11 objectives, forward of Belgium’s Alexander Hendrickx (six objectives).

The 21,000-capacity Birsa Munda Stadium has turned out to be a fortress for the Indian staff remained unbeaten in eight matches. The Indian staff has gained seven and drawn as soon as on the venue.

India performed 4 matches on the venue within the World Cup — two in group stage and two within the classification stage — and gained thrice and drawn as soon as. India beat Spain 2-0 within the first group match and performed out a 0-0 draw towards England within the second.

It beat Wales 4-2 within the final group match on the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar earlier than shedding to New Zealand in penalty shootout within the knockout crossover recreation on the similar venue to crash out of the showpiece.

The Indian staff then gained two classification matches on the Birsa Munda Stadium to complete at joint ninth place within the World Cup.

“We’re joyful to maintain our file intact right here in Rourkela. We’ve not misplaced a single match right here on this magnificent stadium. Positively, the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium could be very fortunate for us,” Harmanpreet mentioned.

“If you get a lot love and encouragement from followers, we need to go on the market and win each single recreation,” mentioned the ace drag-flicker who scored twice in India’s tense shootout victory towards Australia on Wednesday.

Australia had come to the FIH Professional League with nearly half of the primary XI being rookie gamers who weren’t within the World Cup squad. India additionally both dropped or rested eight gamers from the World Cup staff, together with senior gamers like Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh and Nilakanta Sharma.

One of many new gamers who shone brilliant was striker Selvam Karthi, who’s now the fourth highest goal-scorer within the FIH Professional League. Others like Sukhjeet Singh and Abhishek, who had been within the World Cup staff, additionally did nicely.

“There are various constructive takeaways for us from this outing right here in Rourkela which is able to maintain us in good stead as we put together for the upcoming Asian Video games,” added Harmanpreet, who flopped along with his drag-flick in India’s World Cup marketing campaign.

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