After playing out a draw against England on Sunday, Indian men’s hockey team finds themselves in a rather uncomfortable position. After two games, resulting in one win and one draw, India’s game against Wales is nothing less than a DO-OR-DIE one for Harmanpreet Singh led India. The hosts take on Wales at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Thursday, January 19, 2023.

The biggest difference for India will be the venue. So far, the team had played both their games at the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium in Rourkela. In their third Pool game, India travels to Bhubaneswar and play at the Kalinga Stadium at 7 pm IST.

Our analyst's take on the India vs Wales match

Before we reveal the reasons, let’s take a look at the Points table from Pool D.

Pool D
  • England sits comfortably at the top of the points table with four points from two matches.
  • Like England, India also has four points from two matches. However, England is ahead in terms of goal difference.
  • While India has a GD of +2, England hammered Wales 5-0 and are ahead of India.
  • Spain also defeated Wales and has a total of three points from two games, with a GD of -2.
  • For Wales, the tournament is already over and lies at the bottom of the points table.

The venue has changed, but what shouldn’t change is India’s focus to make it to the quarter finals. Harmanpreet Singh and company must remember that the game against Wales is a DO-OR-DIE one for the BLUES!

Reason Number 1

Both India and England played a superb game of hockey at the Birsa Munda International Stadium in Rourkela on Sunday. However, at the end of the game, both teams had to be content with a draw. Both India and England shared a point each. The draw should hurt India more, as they went into the contest as favorites. Credit to England for keeping India at bay.

Reason Number 2

  • The draw against England has left India with no choice but to go all-out against Wales on Thursday. To advance to the quarterfinals, the Blues must win their game against Wales at all costs.
  • If Harmanpreet Singh and India win their match against Wales, they will have six points from three games, which should be enough to get them into the knockout stages.
  • In the event of a defeat against Wales, India’s World Cup journey could be cut short. This is possible if Spain defeats England in their last Pool D match. The match is set to begin at 5 p.m. IST on Thursday, January 19, 2023.

Reason Number 3

  • If the match between India and Wales is a draw, India must hope that the game between Spain and England is also a draw, or, in the worst-case scenario, an England victory.
  • If England wins, they go up to six points, while India finishes with five points.
  • If the game between England and Spain ends in a draw, then England and India finish with 5 points apiece. Spain can finish with a maximum of 4 points. This should be enough for India to go through.