The Commonwealth hockey draw is out. In the men’s section, Pool A comprises Australia, Pakistan, India, Malaysia and Scotland while Pool B has England, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and Trinidad & Tobago.
A few decades back, having India and Pakistan in the same pool would have raised eyebrows. Because both teams were potential champions and likely to meet in the finals, nobody expected them to play each other in an ordinary pool match.
But those days are past. In an era of dominance of Germany, Australia and Holland, which began in the late seventies, Pakistan held out more successfully than India, for some years, at least.They even won a few medals at world championships while India languished. But in recent times, their performance has been no better than India’s.
In fact, in the recently concluded World Cup, where India and Pakistan were in the same pool, India beat Pakistan 3-1, in the pool, and went on to finish at 8th place overall, while Pakistan were 12th, rock bottom.
Both teams have their task cut out at the Commonwealth Games. Australia won the world championship, and England finished fourth. Will home advantage improve India’s prospects any better than at the World Cup? Time will tell.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.