“In my opinion this will be the most open Hockey World Cup ever in terms of favourites,” former India, and current Malaysia, coach Roelant Oltmans says.
There was a long build-up and even longer ceremony with most of the tickets being sold out, the sport fanatics knew what was coming up there way. From being the preserve of Australia and Germany, hockey now had multiple contenders in the title race. A decade ago, the Germans and Aussie dominated the game but things are expected to change this time around. India being the host has done really well for the FIH (Fédération Internationale de Hockey ). In fact FIH has been generous towards India as it is the fourth major tournament in the last four years. Champions Trophy, World League and World Cup has been the other three. FIH ensured India was a part of each of its marquee event, thus guaranteeing sponsorship and broadcast money.
Australia becomes the first team to qualify for the quarterfinals in the world cup hockey 2018. Their hopes for a third consecutive World Cup championship title stay strong. They won against England with a 3-0 win on December 4. England has to win a game against Ireland to stay in the competition. India is currently in a decent position of the 2018 Hockey World Cup. The host nation defeated South Africa in the opening game, which was followed by a spirited draw against Belgium.
Team India is placed in Group C along with Belgium, Canada and South Africa. The Indian players Manpreet Singh will lead while Chinglensana Singh will be his deputy. Hardik Singh, Ramandeep Singh and other key players from the Indian team who have raised the expectations. One of the greatest advantages for team India in this hockey world cup is the home ground.
Apart from all the big names, players like Simranjeet Singh has proven that he is here to prove a point. Listed as midfielder, Simranjeet swiftly adapted to his new role of playing in the forward line by scoring three goals in the first two outing with the Indian national team.
With all the thrilling encounters and nail biting finish, the world cup hockey 2018 is very unpredictable at the moment. With Australia in the quarterfinals, will they bag the world championship for third time in a row or will there be a new champion for world cup hockey 2018? As of now we can only anticipate and watch the big games of world hockey championship.