One other fan was travelling to Bhubaneswar together with his spouse and nine-month-old child to look at India within the quarterfinals of the World Cup when India’s battle and New Zealand’s management within the crossover sport on Sunday have been giving jitters to the household.
“Welcome to Odisha…there’s a lot to offer in Odisha beyond hockey,” a tweet responding to the household’s dismay learn.
It doesn’t matter what, #MenInBlue will all the time have our again! 💙#IndiaKaGame #HockeyIndia #HWC2023 #StarsBecomeLegends… https://t.co/B6o3ygijaX
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) 1674453229000
The followers have been principally providing their shoulders to one another to cry on. India misplaced to New Zealand in sudden loss of life (5-4), after twice main with a two-goal margin, 2-0 and 3-1. After the regulation time of 60 minutes the scoreboard learn 3-3. The following penalty shootout ended at 3-3 as effectively, solely due to PR Sreejesh’s consecutive saves that introduced India again from the useless. He saved the primary try by NZ in sudden loss of life as effectively, injuring himself within the course of. However it gave skipper Harmanpreet Singh an ideal setting to redeem his disastrous World Cup as a participant.
Had Harmanpreet scored in sudden loss of life, he would have lifted the temper of all the nation. The fan above would have purchased tickets and the younger household travelling to look at the World Cup would not have felt dissatisfied about their determination.
Picture credit score: Hockey India
However neither coach Graham Reid nor skipper Harmanpreet Singh talked concerning the ‘accountability’ that each had talked about so emphatically of their addresses to the media earlier than Sunday.
With the advantage of hindsight at their disposal now, the Indian crew administration should reply these seven questions:
1. Why could not India defend a two-goal lead twice within the match?
India’s defence by no means seemed organized in simply the primary knockout sport they performed on the World Cup. The New Zealanders discovered simple passage into the Indian circle, particularly within the final quarter, when the defenders have been noticed ready for the Kiwi attackers contained in the circle, whereas they need to have been tackling them exterior the D. It was the identical mistake India dedicated within the 2018 Asian Video games remaining in opposition to Malaysia. The crew misplaced on each events.
2. Why did the Indian defence buckle underneath strain within the final 16 minutes?
It was not that India did not get possession within the final quarter. However on most events when an Indian participant bought the ball, it took only a few seconds for a NZ participant to reclaim it, both via an unforced error or by forcing the Indian gamers to move the ball in a rush when it will have been wiser to carry onto it, spray the ball round and construct an assault. That did not occur, presumably a psychological block when in a profitable scenario within the dying minutes. An identical method virtually price India expensive within the bronze-medal playoff in opposition to Germany within the Tokyo Olympics as effectively.
3. Why have been 4 children requested to deal with the strain of the shootouts?
It was troublesome to fathom the choice when skipper Harmanpreet Singh led Rajkumar Pal, Sukhjeet Singh, Shamsher Singh and Abhishek as India’s selections for the penalty shootout. In fact, the crew decides this stuff pre-match, which suggests solely coach Graham Reid can reply why the a lot skilled gamers like Manpreet Singh (318 matches), Akashdeep Singh (222), Mandeep Singh (198) and Lalit Upadhyay (137) weren’t among the many 5 when the crew was on the fringe of a World Cup exit.
4. Why is “creating opportunities” turning into rhetorical in Indian hockey?
It isn’t that India have not created probabilities or did not have sufficient pictures at objective. The attacking model that the crew performs offers them sufficient alternatives to attain, however the numbers round ‘circle penetrations’ do not take a crew anyplace until nearly all of these are transformed into objectives. The goalless draw within the pool sport in opposition to England is a traditional instance on this context. Had India gained that sport, they might have topped the pool and secured a direct spot within the quarterfinals.
5. Why wasn’t the crew capable of finding an answer to their penalty-corner (PC) woes 4 matches in a row?
It has been one of many greatest speaking factors of India’s sorry marketing campaign, particularly for the reason that sport in opposition to England when the hosts earned eight penalty corners however might convert none. In 4 matches to date on this World Cup, India have earned 30 PCs and scored off solely 5. The unhappy half is that solely twice India’s direct drag-flicks discovered the mark, as soon as in opposition to Wales when the guests had withdrawn their goalkeeper, which can be drag-flick skilled Harmanpreet’s solely objective to date. And second when Varun Kumar sounded the board in opposition to New Zealand. Such have been Harmanpreet’s woes off drag-flicks on this World Cup that he missed a penalty stroke as effectively in opposition to Spain.
6. What precisely have been Bram Lomans’s inputs within the camp carried out for India’s penalty-corner specialists final December?
Mockingly, the Netherlands’ drag-flick skilled Bram Lomans was introduced in by Hockey India to conduct a camp for the Indian drag-flickers a month earlier than the World Cup. What the inputs have been for Indian gamers throughout that week-long camp is one other query that is ready for a solution, particularly as a result of Harmanpreet went utterly off-colour through the match in Rourkela and Bhubaneswar.
7. Why did the crew not re-assess Tokyo Olympics hero Simranjeet Singh’s health earlier than saying the squad of 18, whereas Varun Kumar, who was faraway from the core group concurrently Simranjeet, was recalled to the nationwide camp forward of crew choice?
It is once more in hindsight, however Hardik Singh’s damage ruling him out after the pool sport in opposition to England would not have affected India as a lot if attacking midfielder and Junior World Cup winner Simranjeet Singh was within the 18 or among the many two alternate gamers (standbys).
For causes associated to health, Simranjeet was neglected of the core group a number of months earlier than the World Cup. If he was unfit, it will have been maybe much more logical to maintain him within the core group and the nationwide camp, which might have provided him one of the best likelihood to return to full health earlier than the World Cup, if the crew administration discovered him unfit. However Simranjeet was denied that likelihood. Nevertheless, Varun Kumar, who was presumably sanctioned for his errors through the Commonwealth Video games, was re-included into the core group.
Additionally, ignoring strikers Gurjant Singh and Dilpreet Singh have been selections that have been additionally questioned when India’s World Cup squad was introduced, which noticed the beforehand injured Lalit Upadhyay and playmaker Vivek Sagar Prasad making a comeback. Each have underperformed at this World Cup, except Lalit’s solely first rate outing in opposition to New Zealand.