The Indian Men's Hockey team remains upbeat about the upcoming World Cup in Hague, Netherlands, which is scheduled to start from May 31. Under the watchful eyes of the coaching staff, the Indian team members, which were 33 in number (including probables) underwent a rigorous training to remain in perfect physical and mental shape for the World Cup.
Ever since its inception in 1971, India
has won the elusive
trophy only once defeating Pakistan in 1975, but after which
the team has not even reached the finals once. But, this crop of
players has a good chance of winning the tournament. ''India has a
very good chance of lifting the 2014 Hockey World
Cup provided the
players stick to the game plan that has been given by the coach,''
said former Indian coach, Narinder Pal Singh.
India is pitted
in a tough group, which includes one of the favourites for the title,
Australia, along with other teams such as Belgium, Spain, Malaysia
and England. Though, India may always be regarded as one of the
strongest teams in the competition owing to their history, but teams
such as Malaysia, Belgium are gradually coming up the ranks, making
the sport an even more competitive one.
India needs to give
it their all if they are to win their second world cup. The other
group includes teams such as Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, South
Korea, South Africa and Argentina.
The former coach said,
''Australia is going to pose a tough test for India in the group
stages.'' But, with India possessing a good coach, they must have
thought about their plan to tackle the ever consistent Australian
team. ''Frankly speaking, it is how the players play on that given
day, which matters. We not only have the players to defeat top teams,
but also coaches, who can come up with good plans,'' said the former
The Indian team seems to be well balanced in all
departments where Gurbaj Singh has also made a comeback. His
experience is going to come in handy for the side. The Indian team
will be led by Sardar Singh, who would be playing his second world
cup and the team would pin their hopes on the skipper as well to lift
the elusive trophy.
''The whole team revolves around Sardar
Singh. But, Raghunath along with Sardar needs to come up good for the
team,'' said Singh. Apart from field goals, the team will also to a
certain extent depend on the conversion of penalty corners, where
India always seem to excel.