Full strength hockey teams for Commonwealth Games
It's a bit more complicated for the women's team to pick the first-choice 18 as the World Cup finishes less than two weeks before the first match in Birmingham.
Published: 01st June 2022 09:56 AM | Last Updated: 01st June 2022 09:56 AM | A+A A-
CHENNAI: Both the men's and women's teams will be pretty close to full strength at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The initial plan was to send 'A' teams to that event as the calendar was loaded, including an Olympic qualifier in the form of the Asian Games. With the Asian Games indefinitely postponed, coaches of both teams — Graham Reid (men's) and Janneke Schopman (women's) — confirmed as much to this daily.
"It will be the best team that can be picked," Reid said. "That is what will happen at the end of the day. The Asian Games has been postponed so we will be trying everything we can to win the Commonwealth Games."
It's a bit more complicated for the women's team to pick the first-choice 18 as the World Cup finishes less than two weeks before the first match in Birmingham. However, Schopman sees the Commonwealth Games 'as less of a developmental tournament and more of a performance tournament'. "All the core group are now available and up for selection," she said. "I think there may be some changes in selection from the World Cup squad or there may not be."
India miss out on final, set to set for bronze
Meanwhile, India's second-string side, in action at the Asia Cup in Jakarta, will face Japan in the bronze-medal match on Wednesday. The side, that's grown in stature over the course of the meet, needed a win over Korea to face Malaysia in the gold-medal match. It was proceeding as per plan as they were leading 4-3 with 16 minutes remaining. Uttam Singh had the chance to extend that lead but ballooned his chance over the bar when it seemed impossible to miss.
Korea, known for their pace on the counter, went up the other end and found the net via Manjae Jung. India threw bodies forward in search of a fifth goal but it just wouldn't come.
However, overall, it has been a good tournament for a youthful-looking side that saw members of the junior World Cup team making their debuts. The question now is how many of those players will be fast-tracked into the senior set-up.
Tuesday's matches: Oman 2-0 Indonesia, Malaysia 5-0 Japan, India 4-4 Korea.
Wednesday's matches: Pakistan vs Bangladesh, India vs Japan, Malaysia vs Korea.