World Cup: Lack of international exposure show in India’s close loss to France | Hockey

World Cup: Lack of worldwide publicity present in India’s shut loss to France | Hockey


October 19, 2019. That was when the Indian males’s junior hockey group final performed a world. They misplaced 1-2 to Nice Britain within the ultimate of the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia.

Covid-19 meant the group needed to wait one other two years, one month and 5 days—a timespan through which a era can graduate to the senior stage—earlier than attending to play one other worldwide, in opposition to France in what was the junior World Cup opener in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday night.

The apparent indicators of rust was seen because the Vivek Sagar Prasad-led group misplaced 4-5 on the Kalinga Stadium. A hattrick from skipper Timothee Clement and a purpose every from Corentin Sellier and Benjamin Marque was sufficient to seal the match for a group that had not even certified for the final Junior World Cup 5 years in the past, in opposition to a group that received it.

India’s recreation was not composed, they couldn’t full their lengthy passes however extra importantly let the French to penetrate their circle all through the 60-minute encounter.

A serious drawback attributable to no worldwide competitors was the ignorance and recreation construction of opposition groups. Additionally, video footage on the junior stage will not be simply accessible.

“That’s all the time the case with the junior group; you don’t get entry to their movies both as a result of it’s not accessible or they haven’t performed throughout the mentioned interval,” mentioned India chief coach Graham Reid, who took over the reins of this group quickly after the Tokyo Olympics. “However international locations have an analogous approach of taking part in. So we confirmed clips of the French senior group, what particular kind of issues they have interaction in. That’s the kind of preparation we’ve got been doing.”

So how did India get across the lack of worldwide competitors? The reply was to play matches in opposition to the senior nationwide group.

Similar to the colts now, the Indian senior group was too out of match observe within the lead-up to the Olympics. It was Reid’s brainchild to make the senior group play in opposition to the juniors. It helped that each have been attending lengthy nationwide camps at Sports activities Authority of India’s (SAI) centre in Bengaluru.

The coaching and observe video games proved helpful as Manpreet Singh’s squad did what no different group had within the final 41 years—return residence with an Olympic medal.

“The seniors performed plenty of video games in opposition to the juniors throughout Olympic preparation which was invaluable to each squads and helped us get an understanding of the issues we wanted to work on earlier than the Olympics,” mentioned Reid. 

Reid determined to make use of the identical methodology for the juniors. “Since we didn’t have abroad competitors, the group performed observe video games in opposition to the seniors which have been fairly precious,” he mentioned.  

The 2 squads met a number of instances, in Bengaluru and later in Bhubaneswar, over the previous couple of months. “They requested questions (from senior group), did a number of studying on what it takes to carry out on the highest stage, they perceive what’s required but in addition bought some perception from the way in which we carried out in Tokyo,” mentioned the Australian.  

Having skilled with the colts for months, senior group skipper Manpreet Singh is assured that regardless of the loss, India will go deep within the match. “They really beat us in one of many (observe) video games. I’m fairly assured they’ve the power to achieve the ultimate,” mentioned Manpreet.  

A penalty nook specialist, junior India vice-captain Sanjay spent hours selecting the brains of ace drag-flickers Harmanpreet Singh, who’s the present FIH Participant of the Yr, and Rupinder Pal Singh, who retired after the Olympics, discussing methods and construction over video evaluation conferences.  

“They (seniors) used to share their expertise of the Olympics. The penalty nook specialists of our group would talk about how one can beat the primary rusher or goalkeeper, how one can take steps for the drag, how and when to launch the ball with Harmanpreet and Rupinder. They taught us quite a bit, it was actually useful,” mentioned Sanjay.  

Sanjay’s studying proved fruitful because the defender scored a hattrick in opposition to France with Uttam Singh scoring India’s different purpose.  

India will look to place their marketing campaign again on monitor once they face Canada, who misplaced 0-1 to Poland earlier within the day, of their second Pool B recreation on Thursday. 

In Pool A motion, 2016 runners-up Belgium thrashed South Africa 5-1 and Malaysia moved previous Chile 2-1. Six-time champions Germany hammered Pakistan 5-2 in Pool D. 



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