Champions Trophy Hockey 2018 Final: India vs Australia, Telecast, date, start time and where to watch online
Two European neighbors did everything that can possibly be done on a hockey pitch but failed to find a second goal against an inspired and resolute Indian side. Neither Shane McLeod nor Max Caldas were able to guide their respective sides to victory against Harendra Singh's marauding Indians in spite of straining every sinew.
Not many would have expected such a comeback from a beleaguered and belittled outfit that looked completely out of sorts at Gold Coast. Yet, the Belgians and the Dutch both fell short against Sreejesh and his men, who will now challenge the almighty Australia in the final of one of hockey's premier competitions.
The Indians ran Colin Batch's World Champions close before going down 2-3 earlier in the tournament, and the way the silver-medalists are progressing, they look quite capable of doing what no Indian team has ever done before.
Out of a total of 15 appearances since 1980 when India first entered the Champions Trophy competition, they have never ever won the title. India won bronze in 1982 and failed to reach the podium for the next 34 years, finishing fourth on 7 occasions. Two years ago, the Indians created history by entering the final for the first time and went down to Australia in a controversial shootout.
Captain Sreejesh was in the thick of the action in London 2016 when a shot by Daniel Beale was blocked by him but was subsequently allowed to be retaken. Prior to the tournament, we asked the man himself what had really transpired at London and this is what he told Sportskeeda.
"'We cannot blame anybody. If an umpire makes a mistake, it can affect the result of the game. That was an unlucky day for us."
Will the first of July, 2018 be luckier for the Indians?
While Harendra Singh's giant-killers have surpassed the expectations of most already, a win tomorrow will catapult Indian hockey to new heights and the hopes and aspirations of a nation will be at stake when India take the field tomorrow.
Australia has been the most successful team in the history of the competition and would like nothing better than to win the crown for the fifteenth and final time, but Eddie Ockenden's World Champions will be wary of a resurgent Indian side who look determined to earn their maiden title.
Sreejesh has been nothing short of outstanding in goal, while his defenders have looked calm and composed, warding off a wave of attacks from the Belgians day-before-yesterday, and the Dutch today. Harmanpreet, Surender Kumar, and Birendra Lakra have been brilliant, and so has the redoubtable and hard-working Amit Rohidas.
The Indian midfield led by veteran Sardar Singh, ably backed by Manpreet, Chinglesana, and young Vivek has controlled the flow of the game for India making vital interceptions and feeding the strikers consistently.
In spite of injuries, the men up front have made their chances count, and Mandeep, Dilpreet, Sunil, Lalit, and Simranjeet will need to be at their best to counter the Aussie defense tomorrow.
Here is how you can catch up with all the action:
Event: FIH Men's Champions Trophy
Venue: Breda, Netherlands
Date: 1 July 2018
Time: 7:30 pm Indian Standard Time (IST)
Telecast: Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1
Live Streaming: Hotstar
You can also catch all the LIVE updates of the Champions Trophy Final here.
Will India end up on the winning side this time around and who will be the star player in the final? Do let us know what you think in the comments section below.