Birmingham: The Indian women’s hockey team grabbed a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham. The focus of hockey fans has shifted to the men’s hockey final to be held between India and Australia at the University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre on Monday.
The Indian hockey team’s morale is high after defeating determined South Africa 3-2 to advance to the final, while favourite Australia struggled to beat host England by an identical margin and is aiming for a record seventh gold medal in the CWG.
The time has come for Manpreet Singh’s team to break the curse and change the medal’s colour to gold. India has not been able to beat Australia in the CWG.
The Indian men’s hockey team has an opportunity to end the mighty Kookaburras’ dominance in the Commonwealth Games. The team has to hit the punch above their height for the gold medal around their necks. But the men in blue have to play their best hockey to push back formidable sides like Australia and achieve the elusive feat. Since the introduction of hockey to the CWG in 1998, Down Under has consistently topped the podium.
After winning the bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics after a pause of 41 years, the team has gained confidence that they can beat any side in the world.
The goalkeeper has to remain careful as the Australians are known for quick counter attacks on their opponent’s goal mouth. There will be relentless pressure on the Indian defence to thwart the Aussie attack.
The Indian midfielders are in fine nick. Manpreet Singh, along with Hardik Singh and Nilkanta Sharma, has played superb hockey. In the forward line-up, Mandeep Singh is in phenomenal form with his fantastic speed and dribbling skills inside the ‘D’, which is dangerous for any side. Akashdeep Singh is not far behind in mesmerising the opponents’ defenders. So far, Shamsher Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh, and Abhishek all look impressive and threatening in the tournament.
The chief coach of Australia, Graham Reid, must be worried regarding the penalty corner conversion as India converted one out of seven PC in the semifinal against South Africa. The team has quality dragflickers such as Harmanpreet, Varun Kumar, Jugraj Singh, and Rohidas. In fact, they need to put extra power into their push to score against the mighty Australians in the final.
The mouth-watering CWG hockey final will get underway at 5 pm IST.