Birmingham: Indian Men’s Hockey Team is set to open their campaign at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games against Ghana on Sunday, July 31st, 2022. The two teams will square off in a Pool B contest as they look to pick up their first win of the competition. India are placed in Pool B of the tournament along with Canada, England, Ghana, and Wales.
In preparation for the Commonwealth Games 2022, the Indian Men's Hockey Team held a National Camp at the SAI Centre in Bengaluru from June 27, 2022, to July 23, 2022. The Indian team, led by Captain, Manpreet Singh, and Chief Coach, Graham Reid reached Birmingham on July 24th after the completion of the camp, for the quadrennial event.
"It's actually been surprisingly cold here. Each day, we get surprised and keep questioning whether the summer is coming anytime soon. Everyone is now settled in. The first few days we were getting everyone accustomed to where everything is in the Village so that when the matches start, people are very familiar and comfortable. We focused on getting accustomed to the pitch, the playing conditions, and getting ourselves adapted to the surroundings," Chief Coach Graham Reid said.
This will be the first time India will play off against Ghana since the 1975 Men's World Cup. The last time the two teams faced off against each other, India had won the encounter 7-0. India had missed out on a podium finish at the previous edition of the Commonwealth Games in 2018, finishing in the 4th position.
But this time around, the Indian Men's Hockey Team will be entering the contest with a clear philosophy in mind. Speaking on the team's preparations, Captain Manpreet Singh said that they will not be taking any team lightly and further gave a glimpse of the team's strategy for the tournament.
"Our philosophy this time around at the Commonwealth Games 2022 is to 'zoom out and zoom in'. Our coaches have told us to zoom out and visualise what we have to achieve. We want to win a medal, but how can we achieve the same? The first thing that we have to do is not underestimate any team," Manpreet, who will be completing the milestone of earning his 300th international cap on Sunday, said.
"Secondly, we have to ensure that we perform our best match by match and focus on our game plan. We will be following the same mindset against Ghana on Sunday," he signed off.