2014: It was a learning process

A first person account of the 2014 hockey World Cup.

Terry Walsh had taken over as coach when the 2014 World Cup took place in the Hague. Unfortunately, we conceded goals in the last seconds. Having said that, our pool was difficult with Australia, Belgium and Spain, the others being Malaysia and England.

Only the top two in each group qualified for the semifinals. We wanted to be in the top six. With the kind of group we were in, it was always going to be tough. We finished fifth behind Malaysia in the six-team Group A, losing three matches, winning one and drawing the other. It was a learning process.

We later went on to win the 2014 Asian Games gold — the first time in 16 years — silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and silver medals at the 2016 and 2018 Champions Trophy. We defeated Belgium and host Netherlands plenty of times. I believe that was a transition period for us. Now we are in a better situation with a world ranking of five. I am sure the boys will perform well.

I think we are better prepared this time, given the added advantage of being a host. We should return with a medal. No doubt the stakes are high for the boys. We should qualify for the quarterfinals and then take it match by match.

Total TeamsMatches PlayedGoals ScoredWinnerRunner-upThird placeIndia's position