India-Germany hockey match ends in a draw, When will live-action begin?
It is not every day that you see the same level of enthusiasm in Indians for a sport other than cricket but the Sunday face-off between Germany and India saw widespread support for the Men in Blue as they won the match with a 6-1 score on board.
The Indian side returned to action on February 28 and they could have asked for a better start. They are on a Europe trip to gear up for upcoming tournaments and the much-awaited Olympics, where the Indian team has good scopes of a metal finish. Krefeld stadium saw a powerful comeback from the Indian side but unfortunately for fans, the gates to the stadium were closed.
But this was not the only concern. Fans could not watch the match on television sets or any other streaming platforms too. It left many of them disappointed as they felt it was weird that an international game did not see any rights to a television channel.
There is no doubt that the Indian team has been working very hard and the sports authority of India has been extra vigilant when it comes to the development of the hockey squad but it was not one of the possible outcomes for the Indian side against Germany. The German team won a bronze medal during the Rio Olympics and to have taken a five-point victory against them was a challenge in itself but the team shined through the European field.
Many started to doubt if the German squad was in fact in its full form or if they had any main players missing from their side. But a report by the Times of India confirmed that there were only three players who were missing from the team. Timm Herzbruch, Mats Grambusch and striker Niklas Wellen did not play the opening match.
Despite the missing names, you cannot dismiss the effort by the Indian side. The men in the blue squad also missed some of its big attacking players. Likes of Manpreet Singh, the regular skipper of the team, and striker SV Sunil were missing from the playing squad.
Many people were reminded of the match between Belgium and Germany when the former had thrashed Germans by 6-1 in the pro hero league series. The excitement of the match, however, was short-lived as on Tuesday, the two teams concluded the match in a draw. Though the Indians did not win the match but the level of the play definitely increased.
The intensity was even higher than the first match as both the teams had to prove something on the field. Jarmanpreet Singh was the first to score for the Indian side while it was Martin Haner who did the same for Germany. But this match too was not aired on any streaming platform, a decision that disappointed many hockey fans.
The chief Indian hockey coach, Graham Reid, also appreciated the team’s performance as he said, “This match was a good experience for our players. It was a tough match and the team worked hard. Both teams created opportunities and I believe we will learn a lot from this game.”