2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup :India’s Performance in the Last Five World Cups.
The 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar is the 14th edition of the prestigious tournament which brings the elite of World Hockey under one roof.
Host nation India will be one of the most keenly followed team’s in the Hockey World Cup despite some shaky form.
They have had a dismal year so far where not a single trophy has come their way.
Ranked 5th in the world, India has some quality players that can weave their magic on the grand stage of Hockey World Cup 2018 to finally bring some cheers to the fans.
We have come up with the performance of the Indian Hockey Team in the past five World Cups which does not paint a rosy picture.
Hockey World Cup 1998 –
Utrecht -9th: Indian hockey team travelled to Utrecht in the Netherlands to be positioned in Pool A of the 1998 World Cup.
It collected 3 points in the pool games to finish last in the group.
The team shipped in quite a few goals in the 4-1 loss to Germany, 0-5 hammering from the Netherlands and the shock 4-3 loss to South Korea. A 1-0 victory over New Zealand did little to lift the spirit of the Indian team as it crashed to another defeat in the last game Canada.
The Indian team repeated the group stage scoreline against New Zealand 9th/10th position game against to finish ninth in the competition.
Hockey World Cup 2002 –
Kuala Lumpur – 10th: India were placed in Pool B at the 2002 Hockey World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where it finished a distant 10th in the sixteen team tournament.
It accumulated 7 points in 7 games which included losses to South Korea, Malaysia, England, and Australia.
They managed to beat Cuba and Poland while Japan held to them an astonishing draw at these games.
In the 9th/10th position play-off, they went down 1-2 to New Zealand to end on a sour note The magic of Dhanraj Pillay was not enough to save the side from disappointment.
Hockey World Cup 2006 –
Monchengladbach – 11th: If India were poor at the 2002 HWC in Malaysia, they saved their worst for four years later at the 2006 World Cup in Monchengladbach in Germany.
It finished 11th in a twelve-nation tournament.
Of the five games it played in Pool A, it lost all except a draw against minnows South-Africa. Defeats to Germany, England, South Korea presided a 1-6 hammering at the hands of Netherlands.
The only game it won in Germany was a 0-1 defeat of South-Africa to finish 11th.
The tournament will always be part of the lowest ebb in Indian Hockey folklore.
Hockey World Cup 2010 –
New Delhi – 8th: India were the host nation at the 2010 HWC and it started well with a 4-1 thrashing of arch-rivals Pakistan.
The next two games though were nightmare-successive 2-5 hammering at the hands of Australia and Spain which meant any further progress in the competition was a distant dream.
A 3-3 draw against South Africa in the last Pool B game was not of much help either.
It went down 4-2 to Argentina in the 7th/8th place game. Shivendra Singh and Sandeep Singh were two standout performers for India in this World Cup but were often left with too much to do.
Hockey World Cup 2014 –
The Hague – 9th: India left it late to qualify for the 2014 Hockey World Cup but did not better their previous performance in New Delhi.
Placed in Pool A with some tough opposition, it lost to Belgium, England, and Australia while drawing Spain 1-1.
Its only victory in the group stage was a hard fought 3-2 victory over Malaysia.
It ended the games with 3-0 victory over South Korea in 9th/10th play-off game to finish at a disappointing ninth place in the World Cup.
India has managed to win just one World Cup so far in Malaysia in 1975 and the last five editions, it has not even been close to being potential champions.
A good performance is long overdue and Bhubaneshwar just might be the place to witness it.