NEW DELHI: Having dealt with a 0-7 loss against Australia in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Indian men's hockey team vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh emphasised that the team must move on from this bitter experience.
Having arrived here early Wednesday morning, the team has had some time to introspect on their performance. He said, "It is hard to digest a loss by such a big margin. Definitely the entire team is disappointed by the way we played but it's important we move on from this bitter outing. Like Chief Coach mentioned, we lacked the energy and tempo required to match-up a team like Australia."
While the Final was a forgettable experience, there were a number of positive take away from the entire campaign at Birmingham 2022 CWG. India marched into the Final on the back of some fine performances in the group stage as they beat Ghana 11-0, drew against England 4-4, beat Canada 8-0 and Wales 4-1 followed by a 3-2 win against South Africa in the Semi-Final.
"There are many lessons from this campaign that we can work on and improve upon. Every match we played will be analysed thoroughly when we return to camp after a two week break and we will be starting from scratch," stated the drag flick specialist.
The vice-captain was in sublime form through the tournament as he scored nine goals for the team, and was the second highest goal scorer along with Wales' Gareth Furlong who also scored 9 goals from penalty corners while Harmanpreet scored eight from PCs and one from penalty stroke. He also scored a hat-trick, in India's 4-1 win against Wales. England's Nicholas Bandurak remained the highest goal-scorer of the tournament with 11 goals.
Talking about his own performance, he said, "This was a memorable outing for me personally despite the Final not going our way. For the first time after the pandemic, we were playing in front of such a big crowds and many Indian fans had turned up. My wife travelled to Birmingham to watch our matches, and this was the first time she was watching me play a big tournament live. This is my first Commonwealth Games medal, so in-all it was a special outing for me on a personal note," he stated.
Up next, India will prepare for the upcoming FIH Hockey Pro League season 2022/23 which begins in October. India is scheduled to play New Zealand and Spain at home. The team will return to the National Coaching Camp in Bengaluru on August 29.