Not India; Viren Rasquinha Picks Belgium, Australia as Favourites

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Hockey World Cup 2023: Rasquinha reckoned that India is not the favourites to win the marquee event, instead, Belgium and Australia are frontrunners. 

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Hockey World Cup Predictions

Rourkela: Hours ahead of India’s game against Spain in the Hockey World Cup 2023 curtain-raiser in Birsa Munda stadium in Rourkela on Friday, former star Viren Rasquinha made a bold comment. Rasquinha reckoned that India is not the favourites to win the marquee event, instead, Belgium and Australia are frontrunners.

“In world hockey, the top 10 nations of the world everyone is strong but right now I would put Olympic gold medallist Belgium and Olympic silver medallist Australia head and shoulders above the rest. I think these two teams have been very solid and extremely consistent in major tournaments so over the last few years. So, for me Belgium and Australia are definitely going to be India’s toughest opponents here at the world cup,” he said in an interaction on Star Sports.

Admitting that getting through the group stage would be difficult for India, Rasquinha reckoned India will face stiff challenges from Spain, Great Britain and Wales.

“I think for starters, India has a very tough pool I would almost call it a pool of death with England, Spain, Wales in our pool. It’s definitely not a walk in the park, we’ve seen in the FIH Pro league India has lost to Spain, England is always is a tough team, Wales again have few players of Great Britain, they play a tough and physical game sometimes. So, in major tournaments I’m not really a big fan of looking too much ahead. Our first goal is to get through a very tough pool and we have to stay intensely focussed right from the first match where we go up against Spain,” Rasquinha said.




Published Date: January 13, 2023 2:25 PM IST



Updated Date: January 13, 2023 2:28 PM IST





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