The Indian women’s hockey team were not supposed to be part of the FIH Pro Hockey League programme in the first place – the 9th ranked side were drafted in alongside Spain as replacement teams for powerhouses Australia and New Zealand, who had pulled out of the 3rd edition of the Pro Hockey League owing to Covid-19 related travel restrictions. And it won’t be a sweeping statement to make to say that the Indian girls have made a statement of sorts in their opening two games against China and have sounded out a stern message to all other teams that the 4th place Tokyo Olympic performance was not a one-tourney wonder and that they indeed have the firepower to give every team a run for their money.
A day after China was pounded 7-1 under a baking day at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, it was only expected that they would come hard at the Indians – yes, they did look more competitive but the Indian eves had answers to all the questions asked by the Chinese. Gurjit Kaur once again underlined the importance of how potent drag-flickers can have a big say in the final outcome – she struck twice once in each half as the Blue Skirts set themselves up to build on the positives in their upcoming Pro Hockey League ties against the Netherlands and Spain later this month in their own backyard in Bhubaneshwar.
The Indian hockey eves extended their winning run against China over the last four-five years having beaten them in all their last eight encounters – a big achievement considering the fact that the Red Brigade were a team India had struggled to beat prior to 2016. India have not lose to China since their 2-3 loss in a league tie at the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy in Singapore – interestingly, the Indian eves exacted sweet revenge beating China by the odd goal in three in the final of that tournament.
Indian eves have to catch up with China as far as their head-to-head record is concerned. India have China in 28 international games since 1990 – India have won 9 (eight of them coming on the trot since 2016), lost 15 and drew 4.
Indian Eves’ Recent Wins vs China
|2-1||2022 Pro Hockey League||Muscat|
|7-1||2022 Pro Hockey League||Muscat|
|2-0||2022 Asia Cup (Bronze Play-Off)||Muscat|
|1-0||2018 Asian Games (Semifinal)||Jakarta|
|3-1||2018 Asian Champions Trophy||Donghae|
|5-4 (1-1)||2017 Asia Cup (Final)||Kakamigahara|
|4-1||2017 Asia Cup||Kakamigahara|
|2-1||2016 Asian Champions Trophy||Singapore|