The Nabhvarna will be looking to make a strong comeback at the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2022.
The Women’s Hockey World Cup 2022 was a forgettable experience for Indian women, who finished ninth. Though they beat Japan in their last encounter, 3-1, there were some unmemorable performances from them overall. They started their campaign against England, which ended in a tough draw at 1-1, followed by a similar game against China that too finished at 1-1.
It looked like the women in blue would grab their first victory against New Zealand, but they fell short in a close encounter losing 3-4. Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami and Gurjit Kaur scored for India in this tight match. They were still not eliminated, but their loss against Spain ended their below-average campaign.
The next stage was the classification stage, where India had to beat Canada and Japan to secure the ninth spot. The Nabhvarna’s did that in style by defeating Canada in a penalty shootout (3-2) and Japan 3-1. Captain Savita Punia was the star of the game against Canada as she saved some stunners in the shootout. Canada was on the brink of winning a couple of times, but she kept them out repeatedly. The Indian skipper also saved a stroke.
This World Cup might not have gone in favour of Indian women’s hockey, but there are some key takeaways from this tournament which would surely help Savita Punia & Co. in the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
Tough games, a big learning
If we see the whole tournament, India played four tough games out of five, which would eventually help them learn more tactics in the upcoming mega event. Out of these four, they held on to a draw on two occasions and won the epic battle against Canada. The lost encounter against New Zealand also gave many positives to the side. After taking a lead at the beginning of the first half, New Zealand took a lead in the first half by scoring two consecutive goals.
Frances Davies of New Zealand scored yet another goal at the beginning of the second half to make it 3-1, but that did not affect India’s game that much as they scored two more in this game, including Gurjit Kaur’s last-minute show. They lost 3-4 in the end but won confidence that would help them in the CWG.
Performance of ‘Great Wall of India’
When your captain is performing well, then the team will gain momentum for sure. Savita’s remarkable performance at the World Cup would help her teammates play their best hockey. The game against Canada was enough to showcase to the world her brilliance. If Savita can do wonders in the CWG 2022, then who knows, India could win something big.
‘Forwards’ magic for India
India’s forward players include Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi, and Lalremsiami, who played their hearts out in the World Cup. Vandana scored three goals while Navneet scored two for the team, and that too came at a stage when they needed it the most. Padma Shri Vandana, who has played over 250 matches for the country, will be hoping to continue her brilliant run in the upcoming CWG 2022. While Navneet Kaur, who has also played over 100 games for the country, is also experienced. Both the players would like to use their experience in the mega event later this month.
The Commonwealth Games 2022 are scheduled to begin on July 28th, 2022. The Indian women will play their first match against Ghana on 29th July followed by a match on 31st July against Wales. In total, they will play four games in the league stage. The semifinal will take place on the 6th, and the final will take place on the 8th of August. The bronze medal match will be played on 7th August.