Hockey India League story so far
Fans are swarming to the stadia, not just to support their teams in the Hockey India League (HIL), but also the sport, which was once a pride of India. Among the five teams in the competition, Delhi Waveriders have stood tall losing only one match in the group stage. Sandeep Singh from Mumbai Magicians is the top scorer of the tournament with 11 goals so far.
Other teams such as Ranchi
Rhinos have also been impressive in the championship. They are standing second in the standings table as of now. They have lost three games in the tournament. But, they have a great chance to make it to the finals of the competition as they would play Uttar Pradesh
Wizards in the semi-finals of the competition. The other semi-finals would be played between Delhi
Waveriders and Punjab
A lot was expected from Mumbai
Magicians, but they turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments of the tournament. They have even failed to qualify for the semi-finals. They received a major set-back, when they had to ask their Pakistani players to go back home due to security reasons even before the start of the championship. Their team comprised the most number of Pakistani players.
Sandeep Singh proved his class once again scoring as many as 11 goals in the tournament. He was one of the standout performers for Mumbai. But one cannot count out Mandeep Singh from Ranchi Rhinos who scored eight goals in the tournament. What makes it special is that the player has scored 7 of his 8 goals in open play unlike Sandeep who has scored all his goals via penalty corner. Rupinder Pal Singh has been a class act for Delhi scoring six goals in the competition – third highest in the tournament so far.
It is heartening to see the top three goal scorers in the league are Indians, as there is a huge number of foreign players, who have been signed by their respective franchises. It reflects that Indian players also belong to the top league. Jackson Ashley and Norris John Lloyd are two foreign recruits that have scored 5 goals each.
With the HIL moving in the business end of the competition, one can expect the players to come up with their A-class performance and score more goals to win the first edition of the championship. Irrespective of who wins the championship, HIL has brought many players to the limelight and would give them the extra confidence to excel in their Indian colours as well.