5 things India must do to win the Champions Trophy for the first time
The prestigious FIH Champions Trophy 2016 is upon us.
Set to flag off on 10 June at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London, the tournament features hosts Great Britain, holders Germany, World No. 1 Australia, Belgium, Korea and India. After each team plays five games in a round-robin fashion, the top two placeholders will lock horns in the 17 June finale to settle the winner of the 36th edition of the Champions Trophy.
Coming into the tournament, India’s chances look stronger than ever. So much so that a possibility of the Indians clinching the title this time around is delightfully realistic.
Let us now take a look at what the Indian team needs to do to win their maiden Champions Trophy at London:
1. One match at a time
A quick look at the fixtures would reveal an outright intimidating scenario for the Indian team.
In the opener itself, they will square off against defending champions Germany – the holders of back-to-back Olympic gold medals from Beijing 2008 and London 2012 as well. On the following day, India will face the host nation Great Britain in what could easily turn out to be a tricky obstacle to overcome at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
A day’s gap in between, by the time India play their third game of the tournament against 4th seeds Belgium, their medal prospects will be pretty clear. Only the penultimate clash versus a Korean side that won’t be featuring in Rio could be deemed an easy ask – although the team needs to be wary of the complacency that, in the past, had cost us dearly.
That the 16 July Australia game poses the biggest threat is a no-brainer, with India having fallen twice, heavily, to the World No. 1 side during the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in April.
Under such circumstances, the right approach should be to tackle each opposition individually, categorically without letting the apprehensions concerning the next teams creep into the existent setting.
It is common knowledge that today’s Indian team can outperform any rival on their day – only a solid effort on the field in every game will decide their fate on the closing day of the 36th Champions Trophy.