Hockey Perspectives

How the Indian Men’s Hockey Team is Mastering the Art of Posting Come-From-Behind Wins

The second leg 2022-23 FIH Men’s Pro League tie between India and New Zealand at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar was one more reinforcement of the fact the Blueshirts are slowly and steadily mastering the art of racking up come-from-behind wins – of course, this is something no coach would bat for in fast-paced hyper-competitive international hockey, where mounting a comeback after trailing takes a lot out of a team.

Read Men’s Hockey Top Goal-Scorers of 2022

Much like the first leg tie when the Indians trailed 1-3 but orchestrated a brilliant comeback in the final two quarters to pull off a 4-3 win, they were once again put on the backfoot when vastly experienced Simon Child playing in his 287th international, made the most of a defensive lapse from Surender Kumar to give New Zealand an early lead. Although Indian captain Harmanpreet Singh equalised swiftly off a short corner, the Black Sticks struck twice to hold a 3-1 lead at the end of the opening quarter and it was time for India to show how they are enjoying making comebacks!

Read Women’s Hockey Top Goal-Scorers of 2022

Young Tamil Nadu youngster Selvam Karthi came to the party and soon Harmanpreet sounded the board as India went into half-time with a 3-3 scoreline – the second half was all Indian domination – Raj Kumar Pal’s very early second half goal put India ahead for the first time before Selvam Karthi completed a double to even as the home crowd was thrilled to bits. Sukhjeet Singh, making a comeback made it 6-3 before Jugraj Singh completed the tally. Nic Woods did score for the Black Sticks but that was never going to impact the final result.

Read Stats Corner: Most Capped Men Hockey Players

India have now beaten New Zealand in all their last four meetings since the 2019 Olympic Test Event in Tokyo, where they won the final 5-0 against the Black Sticks – interestingly, in the league stage of that tourney, India had lost to New Zealand 1-2- their last defeat to the black brigade.