The 48-year look forward to a Hockey World Cup title continues for India. A disappointing match ended for the hosts on Sunday when New Zealand knocked India out in a shootout. After pre-tournament predictions of a shot on the semifinals, India now must play two classification matches for 9-16 positions within the World Cup.
So, what went improper? There have been bigger points that plagued India but in addition small particulars that went towards them.
Harmanpreet’s penalty corners
Previous to the World Cup, captain Harmanpreet Singh was dubbed the most important player for India. Nevertheless, when India wanted their world class dragflicker to be at his finest, Harmanpreet missed most of his possibilities – with only one success from 13 photographs at objective in 4 matches. That solitary penalty nook conversion got here when Wales took their goalkeeper off whereas chasing the sport within the last quarter.
To be clear, Harmanpreet had a great outing as a defender. He led the charts in interceptions and blocks for India. He was additionally one of many foremost explanation why India did nicely defensively within the first two matches towards Spain and England. However Harmanpreet could not present the objectives when India wanted them. What additionally threw the workforce off target have been his missed penalty stroke within the match towards Spain after which his shootout miss towards New Zealand – when he may have received the match for India.
India may convert solely 5 out of 27 PC possibilities, of which three objectives got here through rebounds after India had missed their direct hits. It is a good distance off from the Olympics, when India scored 10 from 31. Even within the latest Check sequence towards Australia, India scored at a great ratio – eight in 34 makes an attempt.
Hardik Singh’s harm
Whereas changing penalty corners was underneath India’s management, the harm to their in-form midfielder was simply plain unhealthy luck. A participant of Hardik Singh’s calibre is difficult to exchange. He can begin attacking strikes, rating objectives, press exhausting, run the entire match and in addition produce key tackles and blocks. This was the case towards Spain, which resulted in an India win.
If India had Hardik on the pitch for the ultimate quarter towards New Zealand, they would not have been so listless.
Not as soon as, not even within the 2-0 win towards Spain, did India fully dominate the proceedings or not less than make issues snug for themselves. It was a tricky group with high quality groups, little doubt, however India not often took the prospect, when supplied, to regulate proceedings.
Be it enjoying towards 10-man New Zealand within the last quarter and never taking benefit or conceding twice once they have been two objectives up towards Wales, they stored providing alternatives to their opponents to get again into matches.
Graham Reid stated the Indian workforce have not had a psychological coach thus far, and says psychological conditioning is an space that his workforce wants to enhance on after their elimination from the #HockeyWorldCup2023. pic.twitter.com/CL4Y8v6nq6
– ESPN India (@ESPNIndia) January 22, 2023
Perhaps that is the place a psychological conditioning coach comes into the image. What is the level of doing every part proper within the follow periods however being unable to deal with the strain on the sphere? Whether or not it was the strain inside the match and even expectations of enjoying in entrance of a house crowd, India may have accomplished higher. It’s encouraging that Graham Reid has recognised the significance of a psychological coach. Maybe it’s too little, too late although.
Skilled gamers disappoint
Reid’s alternative of selecting gamers with expertise somewhat than banking on kids did not work out. Lalit Upadhyay and Vivek Sagar Prasad didn’t have a lot recreation time earlier than the World Cup as each have been getting back from accidents. The duo have been underwhelming in most of their time on the pitch on the World Cup. Amit Rohidas did nicely within the opening match, however could not preserve his consistency in the remainder of the video games. Though he performed nicely towards Wales and New Zealand, Akashdeep did not begin the match in addition to he would’ve needed.
Reid not noted some promising talent coming by way of for this World Cup, and is likely to be regretting his alternative.
Forwards did not supply objectives
To compound India issues with changing penalty corners, their forwards additionally did not do sufficient to provide objectives. Lalit, Abhishek and Sukhjeet Singh struggled to create or rating. The one time Indian forwards labored in tandem was towards Wales, when Mandeep Singh and Akashdeep mixed nicely.
Mandeep had a great match, he was typically the one one making issues occur on the pitch, however he wanted extra help from his teammates. One of many vital variations between India and different large groups like Australia, Belgium and Netherlands is that their forwards began clicking on the proper time. Tom Boon (Belgium), Blake Govers (Australia) and Thierry Brinkman (Netherlands) and Niklas Wellen (Germany) received into the act with 5 – 6 objectives every.
India confronted impressed gamers and international locations
If not for goalkeeper Ollie Payne’s terrific efficiency, India would’ve scored towards England. Wales had nothing to lose so that they got here exhausting towards India. New Zealand knew the strain was on India, so that they exploited it to most impact. It does not must be tactical at all times, typically easy issues like having the appropriate mindset could make an enormous distinction.