Updated: Jul 19
According to former hockey captain Sandeep Singh, who is an expert at the "tough part" of drag-flicking, India has an advantage over the other teams due to the advent of several penalty corner specialists.
Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, and Amit Rohidas are the three drag-flickers on the Indian team headed to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
In terms of penalty corners, India is in good shape thanks to young players like Sanjay, Araijeet Singh Hundal, and Sudeep Chirmako who are waiting in the wings.
Drag-flicking is a challenging art that requires years of practice to perfect. Sandeep explained that it was an extremely complex task that required quick hands and quick bodyweight shift in addition to physical force.
Any team that has choices in drag-flick has an advantage, and we are fortunate to have many penalty corner experts on our side right now. It increases variety. Sandeep, who is known as "Flicker Singh" for his exploits with the goal-scoring method during his playing days, said that Harmanpreet is a world-class flicker.
The current national squad, led by Manpreet Singh, can end its gold medal curse at the Birmingham Games, which begin next month, according to Sandeep, a fierce drag-flicker in his prime.
Australia has won all six gold medals since hockey was added to the 1998 Kuala Lumpur edition of the CWG calendar. The two silver medals India won in the 2010 domestic competition and the 2014 Games in Glasgow, Scotland, were its best finishes.
Indian hockey has advanced significantly. Sandeep told PTI in an exclusive interview from the Indian Sports Fan Award 2022, where veteran sports promoter and newly-elected Rajya Sabha member Kartikeya Sharma was honored with the distinction, that the bronze medal in Tokyo was exactly the boost the game needed to restore its former grandeur.
I feel we can take home gold at these Commonwealth Games if you ask me.
There is scarcely any separation between the top 5 teams in the world of hockey today. The player-turned-politician, who was a member of the team that won the silver medal at the 2010 CWG, continued, "If we play to our capabilities and plan, we can stop Australia's supremacy in the CWG this time.
Sandeep claimed that the Indian players now have a sense of confidence and self-worth as a result of winning the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics after 40 years and subsequent improvement in international hockey under head coach Graham Reid.
He claimed that the nation's support for the game had improved recently.
Indian hockey needs the medal from Tokyo more than anything else. We currently have the main team, an A team, and a youth side, so have a look at our bench strength. Sandeep, the Haryana Sports Minister, stated that there is, therefore, no shortage of good players.