Hockey World Cup 2018: Canada a thorn in India's side

In Pool C of Hockey World Cup 2018, India will be wary of Canada as it has the potential to pull off upsets.

Canada has some experienced hands in its line-up including captain Scott Tupper (centre), the most experienced of them all with more than 250 international caps.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Canada is the next highest-ranked team in Pool C behind India and ensured its ticket to the World Cup with a massive upset win against the host at the Hockey World League Round 3 in London last year. This will only be Canada’s sixth appearance at the World Cup and the first since its 11th place finish in 2010, having missed the 2014 edition.

Canada, who lost to India in the league stages, came from behind to beat beat India 3-2 in the 5-6 place play-offs against a team ranked five places above it back then. While Canada remains 11th in the rankings at the moment, it has the potential to pull off upsets and has always been a thorn in India’s side.

The Paul Bundy-coached team played practice matches against Pakistan and China in its build-up to the World Cup, topped with a tour to New Zealand for training and matches. While the team has some experienced hands in its line-up including captain Scott Tupper — the most experienced of them all with more than 250 international caps — Gordon Johnston and Iain Smythe, it also has several players of Indian origin such as the seasoned Brandon Pereira, Keegan Pareira and Sukhpal Panesar. A mix of new and old hands when it comes to India, the World Cup itself will be virgin territory for many in the side. Interestingly, the Red Caribou, as the team is called, had its best finish in 1998 — eighth — where it beat India for its maiden win over the side in a major competition in two decades.

Squad: Balraj Panesar, Brandon Pereira, Gordon Johnston, Scott Tupper, Keegan Pereira, Matthew Sarmento, Iain Smythe, James Kirkpatrick, Oliver Scholfield, Antoni Kindler, David Carter, Mark Pearson, Sukhi Panesar, Gabe Ho-Garcia, John Smythe, Richard Hildreth, Brednen Bissett and Jamie Wallace.