Fairly well-placed after eight games, the Indian men's hockey team will fancy their chances to make a clean sweep when they take on England in the second leg FIH Pro League 2021-22 tie in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. India won the first leg in shoot-out after finishing 3-3 at the end of regulation time. (More Hockey News)
The India vs England second leg tie on Sunday at the Kalinga Stadium will start from 7:30 PM IST.
Tokyo Olympic bronze medallists India have so far played nine matches this season and are on top of the standings with 18 points. Germany (17 points) are second. Star Sports has the broadcasting rights of the FIH Pro League in India.
Viewers can watch the IND vs ENG games live on the Star Sports Select 2 and Star Sports Select 2 HD channels. Disney+ Hotstar will live stream the India vs England FIH Pro League 2021-22 game from 7:30 PM IST. In England, the IND vs ENG tie will be live on BT Sport from 3 PM (BST)
The Indian team defeated South Africa 10-2, 10-2 before winning a game and losing one against France (5-0, 2-5) and Spain (5-4, 3-5). Recently against Argentina, the Indians lost 2-2 (1-3 in shoot-out) before registering a thrilling 4-3 win in the second match.
Going into tie against England, defence remains a major concern for the Indians as the backline wilted under pressure in every match. Conceding soft goals has been India's bane and vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh had no qualms in admitting that, saying the defenders need to improve their decision-making going forward.
Teams are ready to block your weekend with strikes and flicks 🏑— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) March 29, 2022
England Men’s team lands in Bhubaneswar, Odisha for the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021-2022 game against India on 2nd and 3rd of April, 2022. pic.twitter.com/LpUfS7Y7In
On the contrary, India's forward-line has been impressive, scoring as many as 45 goals in the nine games. Mandeep Singh, in particular, has been at his best inside the opposition circle, scoring some important goals, including the last-minute match-winner against Argentina in their previous game.
The presence of four world-class drag-flicking options -- Harmanpreet, skipper Amit Rohidas, Varun Kumar and young Jugraj Singh -- hand India a clear edge over their opponents.
On paper and in world rankings too, India hold an edge over England. While the Indians are ranked fourth, the Englishmen occupy the seventh spot. England, on the other hand, are placed seventh in the Pro League standings with six points from two wins and as many defeats.
England's men have named their squad for this weekend's FIH Hockey Pro League matches away to India— England Hockey (@EnglandHockey) March 28, 2022
Olympians @Liam_Ansell21 and @c_griffiths12 are back, as is @jamesoates123
Both games are live on BT Sport, 3pm on Sat & Sun
Read in full: https://t.co/frnm7URMaY pic.twitter.com/qKcsfGEN5z
England started their Pro League campaign on a positive note beating Spain 6-1 and 3-2 before losing 1-3 and 0-2 to Argentina. England are on a rebuilding phase under new captain Tom Sorsby and head coach Zak Jones, and are looking at the Pro League matches to gain valuable experience ahead of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
India Squad For ENG Matches
Goalkeepers: Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Sreejesh Parattu Raveendran
Defenders: Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh (vice-captain), Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Varun Kumar, Amit Rohidas (captain), Jugraj Singh.
Midfielders: Jaskaran Singh, Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Shamsher Singh, Raj Kumar Pal, Sumit, Vivek Sagar Prasad.
Forwards: Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, Abhishek, Gursahibjit Singh, Shilanand Lakra
Standbys: Suraj Karkera, Jarmanpreet Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Gurinder Singh, Mandeep Mor, Sanjay, Akashdeep Singh, Moirangthem Rabichandra Singh, Ashis Kumar Topno, Mohd. Raheel Mouseen, Dilpreet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Simranjeet Singh.