India dominated the Asian Champions Trophy 2023 at Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Chennai and clinched the title for the fourth time by defeating Malaysia 4-3 in the final.
The host side had a memorable run in the tournament and was the only unbeaten team among six teams that participated. The team scored the most goal, 29, in the competition, with 12 field goals and 16 goals via penalty corners. India's biggest victory came against China 7-2.
Japan, who eliminated India in the 2021 Asian Champions Trophy semi-final, was the only team to draw against the host side. However, India managed to pull things back and defeated Japan convincingly by 5-0 in the Semi-final.
Malaysia, who went 0-5 down against India in the league stage, almost produced a stunning victory against the hosts in the final. The team went from 0-1 to 3-1 before the first half. However, India came back in the thrilling contest to defeat Malaysia 4-3 to lift the Asian Champions Trophy 2023. Here are the three major reasons why India was successful in the recent Asian Champions Trophy.
#3 Home conditions and support
India played their first tournament in Chennai since their 2007 Asia Cup. Though Chennai did not host several international tournaments in recent times, the support from the crowd was outstanding. The Indian matches were sold out despite the rain factor.
The crowd erupted whenever India dominated the proceedings. The local boy Karthi Selvam had the loudest cheer from the Chennai crowd. The massive support certainly inspired India to be at their best in the Asian Champions Trophy 2023.
#2 Harmanpreet Singh led from the front
Indian captain Harmanpreet Singh led the team from the front in the Asian Champions Trophy. As a captain, he made sure to motivate the team whenever they were down and inspired them to be at their best.
Also, whenever India needed to pull things back in the match, Harmanpreet Singh showed up. Most of his goals came when India were struggling. Even in the final, it was Harmanpreet Singh, who brought the team back into the game with a goal in the 45th minute.
The host was trailing 1-3 at the end of the 1st half. Harmanpreet Singh scored the 2nd goal for India to pull things back. Gurjant Singh and Akashdeep Singh then scored in the final moments of the match to help India win the trophy.
The Indian captain Harmanpreet Singh ended the tournament with nine goals. Notably, he scored in every single match of the Asian Champions Trophy 2023.
#1 Team performance at its best
While Harmanpreet Singh led the team well, huge credit must go to the way India held their nerves and performed as a team in the whole tournament.
Several individual performances played a major role, like Mandeep Singh's domination and his ability to set things up for the team, Akashdeep Singh finding the target whenever India was down, Jugraj Singh taking the penalty corners ahead of Harmanpreet Singh, Krishan Pathak stepping up in the absence of PR Sreejesh and most importantly Karthi Selvam's impressive run which erupted the Chennai crowd.
India certainly had a good preparatory tournament in Chennai ahead of the Asian Games 2023. The Harmanpreet Singh-led team will certainly enter the Asian Games in China with high confidence.