Commonwealth Games: Decoding the stats of Indian men's hockey team
The Commonwealth Games is set to begin from July 28 onwards in Birmingham, England. India will be making an 18th appearance at the prestigious event. This month, a total of 108 men and 107 women were named by India across 15 sports. The Indian men's hockey team will be keen to showcase its strengths in the upcoming event. We decode India's CWG hockey stats.
Why does this story matter?
India have been placed in Pool B, comprising hosts England, Wales, Canada, and Ghana. India start their campaign against Ghana on July 31. Meanwhile, Pool A comprises of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Scotland. The top two teams from each pool will reach the semis. The losers will vie for a bronze medal match with the winners reaching the final.
Indian men's hockey team is on a high
The Indian men's hockey team bagged a historic bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics last year. India stunned Germany 5-4 in their bronze medal match after losing to Belgium in the semis. Post that, India took home the bronze medal in the 2022 Asia Cup. India beat Japan 1-0 in the third place game. South Korea won the gold.
Only 2 medals for India at CWG
India have managed to add just two medals in their Commonwealth Games kitty. They won the silver medal in the 2010 edition held in New Delhi. Notably, India were trounced 8-0 by Australia in the final. In the 2014 edition in Glasgow, India finished second once again. Australia were the champions, beating India 4-0 in the final.
India's overall record at CWG
Hockey was first played at CWG in the 1998 edition and became a core sport post that. India finished fourth in 1998, losing against England in the bronze medal ecounter. India did not participate in 2002 and went home finishing sixth in 2006. In the 2018 edition of the CWG, India finished fourth. They were beaten 2-1 by England in the bronze medal match.
India's goal-scoring record at the CWG
India have scored 87 goals at the CWG. They have gone on to concede a total of 71 goals as well. India's biggest win came against Trinidad and Tobago in the 2006 group stage edition (10-1). They also beat Trinidad 8-0 in 1998. Other notable wins include 7-4 versus Pakistan (2010), and 6-2 versus Scotland (2014). India's biggest defeat is 0-8 versus Australia (2010).
India have lost against Australia in all their meetings
India lost to Australia 2-5 in the 1998 edition (group stage). They lost 2-5 against Australia in the 2010 edition (group stage) and also suffered a mauling (0-8) in the final. In 2014, Australia hammered India 4-2 in the group stage and then won the final as well (4-0). India have conceded 26 goals against the Aussies, besides scoring just six.
Will India face Australia once again in the final?
India will hope to top their group in Birmingham. Australia are the favorites to top their group and India will want to avoid them in the semis. If India manage to win the semis clash, there's a possibility of them facing Australia in the final.