Hockey India announces squad for 2022 Commonwealth Games
An 18-member Indian hockey team has been announced by Hockey India for the highly-coveted Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, starting July 29. India are placed in Pool B alongside Canada, England, Wales, and Ghana. They will commence their journey on July 31 with the opening match against Ghana. Manpreet Singh will lead the side in the tournament. Here are further details.
India men's hockey squad for Commonwealth Games
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishan B Pathak. Defenders: Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Jugraj Singh, and Jarmanpreet Singh. Mid-fielders: Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh, and Nilakanta Sharma. Forwards: Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh, and Abhishek. Manpreet will captain the side in this tournament, meanwhile, dragflick specialist Harmanpreet Singh will be his deputy.
Harmanpreet shone in FIH Men's Pro League 2021-22
Harmanpreet emerged as the top performer in FIH Men's Pro League 2021/22. He netted 18 goals, six more than second-placed Belgium forward, Tom Boon. Meanwhile, a lot would be expected from Manpreet, given he led India to the bronze medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Here's what Chief Coach Graham Reid said
"We have gone with the tried-and-tested team for the Commonwealth Games. These players have the experience of playing top teams in high-pressure games in the FIH Pro League which was good exposure for us ahead of the prestigious quadrennial event," said Graham Reid, Chief Coach.
India's performance in Commonwealth Games
India had succumbed to a fourth-place finish in the 2018 Commonwealth Games (Gold Coast). So far, the Indian men's hockey team has qualified on six occasions (including the upcoming edition). They have finished as the runners-up twice (2010, 2014). They rounded up at the fourth spot in 1998. India failed to qualify in 2002 and followed with a sixth-place finish in 2006.
India's resurgence in hockey of late
The Indian men's hockey team ended a 41-year-old Olympic medal drought by grabbing a bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. They battered four-time winners Germany 5-4, claiming their first medal since the 1980 Moscow Olympics. They finished third in the 2021 Men's Asian Champions Trophy, beating Pakistan 4-3 to snatch bronze. They beat Japan for a bronze medal in the 2022 Asia Cup.
India finish third in FIH Men's Pro League 2021-22
India finished third in FIH Men's Pro League 2021-22. Overall, India managed 10 wins and six losses (including two wins and two losses in the shoot-out). They collected 30 points, scoring 62 goals and conceding 40. Netherlands, with two matches to go, have been crowned champions for the first time. They have claimed 36 points (13 wins, one loss). Meanwhile, Belgium are the runner-up.
India slip to fifth spot in FIH World Rankings
India have slipped by a position in the current FIH World Rankings. Australia (2842.258) and Belgium (2742.775) are among the top two. Netherlands (2617.290) have replaced Germany (2340.058) to be seated third. India (2299.622) follow suit at the fifth spot.