Hockey World Cup: India grouped with China, England and New Zealand

A file photo of the Indian women's team. (PC: Hockey India)
A file photo of the Indian women's team. (PC: Hockey India)
Hari Kishore M

The Indian women's hockey team has been grouped in Pool B along with England, New Zealand, and China for the upcoming FIH Hockey Women's World Cup.

The World Cup will commence on July 1 in Spain and the Netherlands. The Indian women's team secured their qualification for the World Cup after finishing third in the Asia Cup in Muscat.

The Indian women's team made it to the top eight for the first time in the previous edition of the World Cup. They drew 1-1 with England and lost 0-1 to Ireland, who went on to play the final against World Champions the Netherlands. The Indian team also drew 1-1 against the USA in the group stage.

Read: Janneke Schopman says FIH Pro League will help India fine tune game plans

Indian hockey team in a tough pool

Speaking about the competition in their pool, Indian women's goalkeeper and veteran player Savita Punia said the Indian team has been placed in a tough pool.

"It is a tough pool with England (world no.3) and New Zealand (world no.8) who are ranked above us and China can always spring a surprise. As a team, we have always believed we need to focus on ourselves and not what our opponents can do. But now that we know who we play in the pool stage, we can plan our preparations accordingly and we look forward to the challenge," Savita said.

Also read: IOA chief Narinder Batra slams Hockey India for below-par performances

Savita said the Indian team is better prepared to take on the challenges, especially in big-ticket events like the World Cup.

"With the experience we have had over the past three to four years, particularly at the Olympics in Tokyo, I feel we are better prepared mentally to do well this time at the World Cup," she added.

Savita emphasized that the upcoming FIH Hockey Pro League matches will help them prepare well in the lead up to the prestigious quadrennial event in July.

"We will play England at home in the Pro League matches in April and we have already played China. I believe playing other top teams in the world like Belgium, Argentina etc will definitely benefit us in our preparations for the World Cup," she added.

World Champions the Netherlands are grouped in Pool A with Germany, Ireland, and Chile.

In pool C, hosts Spain will face off against Argentina, Korea, and Canada. Meanwhile, in pool D, Australia, Belgium, Japan, and South Africa will take on each other.

Also read: Netherlands pull out of FIH Pro League matches in India

Edited by Aditya Singh


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