India Looking To Continue To Momentum at Next Phase of FIH Pro League 2024

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The next leg of the FIH (Fédération Internationale de Hockey) Pro League for the Indian men’s hockey team will get underway in Antwerp, Belgium from the 22nd of May (Wednesday).

This mini tournament will feature Argentina, Belgium, Germany and Great Britain (GB), alongside India. The first leg will be held in Antwerp with 2 matches each, against Argentina and Belgium, and the 2nd leg will be at London with 2 matches each, against Germany and GB.

This will be the last opportunity for Craig Fulton’s men to sharpen their match skills before the Paris Olympics; India’s first match is against New Zealand on the 27th of July.

Our men’s hockey team did fabulously well last year’s Asian Games in Hangzhou, sealing an Olympic spot at the first given opportunity. However, it has not been all plain sailing since then. The Odisha leg, earlier this year, was sort of mixed bag.

We showed flashes of brilliance, for example in a game vs Australia, in which we eventually lost 4-6. There were some games in which we seemed lacklustre, particularly the 1-0 win vs Ireland. Going into the Olympic games, Australia, Germany and Netherlands look better prepared.

From a fan’s point of view, the test series vs Australia was sobering, to say the least. There is too much reliance on Hardik Singh for midfield creativity and the difference is palpable, if he is not on the pitch.

However, it is the form of our forward line, that is most concerning. Sukhjeet, Abhishek and Gurjant are very skilful but unpredictable. Mandeep and Lalit Upadhyay looked woefully out of form in Australia.

Araijeet Hundal and Boby Singh Dhami, the two new additions from the junior squad are still not the finished product and are yet to show anything significant in the senior setup.

Simranjeet and Dilpreet are out of favour (and fitness) and there is no point discussing them at this point. Hope this tournament signals a change in fortunes for our strikers.

Looking at the positives, one area of improvement in the Fulton regime has been in the defensive organisation. The rise of Jugraj and Amit Rohidas (as a drag flicker) should make our penalty corners more dangerous and creative.

Indian Men’s Hockey Team:


1. Sreejesh Parattu Raveendran

2. Krishan Bahadur Pathak


3. Jarmanpreet Singh

4. Amit Rohidas

5. Harmanpreet Singh

6. Sumit

7. Sanjay

8. Jugraj Singh

9. Vishnukant Singh


10. Vivek Sagar Prasad

11. Nilakanta Sharma

12. Manpreet Singh

13. Shamsher Singh

14. Hardik Singh

15. Rajkumar Pal

16. Mohd. Raheel Mouseen


17. Mandeep Singh

18. Abhishek

19. Sukhjeet Singh

20. Lalit Kumar Upadhyay

21. Gurjant Singh

22. Akashdeep Singh

23. Araijeet Singh Hundal

24. Boby Singh Dhami

The current squad had 24 players and this will be trimmed down to 16 for the Olympics. Whether it’ll be from the above list or will Karthi Selvam or Shilanand Lakra make a comeback into the team, remains to be seen. With only 16 spots, the goalkeeper’s choice also has to be made.

Let me finish with something that might bring a smile to your face. The last time a South African coached an Indian’s men’s team with Paddy Upton by his side, we won the cricket world cup in 2011

Written By Sundaram

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