As we enter the final day of the exhilarating 2016 Hockey Champions Trophy hosted by Great Britain at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, it’s India who take on 13-time champions Australia in the 1st - 2nd Place contest scheduled to begin at 8-15pm local time tonight.
Ranked 7th by the FIH, India have already stunned spectators with dazzling performances that saw them get the better of 4th placed England and a stubborn South Korea after than narrowly missing out on a victory against title defenders Germany. Aided by the Belgians’ failure to close off a win over the home side in their last pool fixture, India sailed into today’s final by virtue of their 2nd position in the table.
The Kookaburras, however, dominated throughout the tournament which shows in their points’ tally of 13 from five matches – something that looks all the more imposing when compared to India’s 7. A late fightback in their Thursday encounter couldn’t ensure anything positive as they went down 2-4 against the World No. 1 side at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.
Still, it is a new day that has brought with it a fresh challenge for the Men in Blue who would be raring to fire against the Aussies when they face off in Friday’s finale. Having accomplished their best finish in the history of the tournament already, the Indian team will take the field fearing nothing to lose, since it is quite a foregone conclusion that the Australian side will eventually prevail. Whichever way the tide goes, custodian P. R. Sreejesh and V. R. Raghunath will be India’s key men if they are to enforce a favourable result in the final clash tonight.
The 2016 Champions trophy has done a tremendous lot to boost the Indian morale ahead of Rio Olympics 2016.
PR Sreejesh (C and GK), Vikas Dahiya (GK), Pradeep Mor, VR Raghunath, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Manpreet Singh, Danish Mujtaba, SK Uthappa, Chinglensana Singh, Devinder Walmiki, Harjeet Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Akashdeep Singh, Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, SV Sunil (VC)
Prediction: India 2-3 Australia
TV Channel: Star Sports, Star Sports HD
Time: 12:45 am ISTPublished 17 Jun 2016, 15:43 IST