The defender performs several important roles and is a key player for the team.

Over the years, Indian hockey has seen plenty of fantastic players. In recent times, the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams have been performing brilliantly in international tournaments. Particularly in men’s hockey, the Indian team finished third at the recent Tokyo Olympics, to bag a bronze medal after nearly four decades. Harmanpreet Singh was one of the main contributors who has since gotten only better.

The defender is an exceptional drag-flicker. He is currently one of the most lethal players in the world of field hockey. Singh’s performances in the ongoing FIH Pro League have helped India maintain the top spot. His recent brace in a 3-0 win over Germany was one of the many important displays recently. 

The 26-year-old is an integral part of the Indian men’s hockey team. His form will be essential if the nation is to build on the Olympic bronze and clinch a silver or gold at the upcoming edition. Having said that, here is a look at why Harmanpreet Singh is central to Indian hockey:

Defensively Sound

No team can win on a consistent basis without having a solid defence. The Indian backline has Harmanpreet Singh who leads by example. He is strong and rarely gets caught out of position. He is a defender before being a goalscorer and does his duty with commitment.

Despite his age of 26, Singh shows a lot of maturity in his gameplay. Keeping opposition attackers under check is one of his good qualities. His marking also makes him a strong defender.


Harmanpreet Singh has 145 appearances for the Indian national team. That makes him one of the senior figures in the squad.

The Indian team is also in a minor transitional phase with many young players entering the team. In such a scenario, having an experienced figure like Harmanpreet plays an important role. He helps the youngsters settle in quickly and guides them in tough situations. 

One of the best drag-flickers

Harmanpreet Singh is arguably the best drag-flicker in field hockey today. If not the best, he is certainly up there in elite company. Seeing the tall defender come up to take the penalty-corner from the edge of the circle is a frightening sight for any defence. 

Take the FIH Pro League for instance, Singh has scored 16 goals from 12 games, the most for any individual player in the tournament. Out of those 16 goals, 13 have come from penalty-corners and the other three from penalty-strokes.

A good reader of the game

It is clear that every successful team needs a good defence to excel at the top level. In India’s case, Harmanpreet Singh plays a central role in keeping opposition forwards at bay. He has good instincts to read the game and block any attacking moves.

Blocking passing lines and reading the movement of the attackers in the final third are a few of the qualities of Singh’s gameplay. His reading of the game gives him an edge over other defenders from the Indian lineup and hence he is a regular starter.

Balanced physical attributes

Harmanpreet Singh is the perfect combination of speed and power. The defender has a strong frame and often uses his strength to get the better of opposition forwards. Furthermore, the 26-year-old is quick on his feet and possesses good agility. 

Such a combination of pace and strength is rare, which makes Harmanpreet all the more impressive. He can cover easily for his other defenders and stay strong while on the back foot. Such a balanced physical output makes him a tough nut to crack for attackers, who cannot outrun him in counter-attacking situations.

For more updates, follow Khel Now on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.