Indian men’s Hockey team’s excellent form in the first three rounds of the second edition of FIH Hockey Pro League has paid rich dividends for them in the latest world rankings released on Monday. Courtesy their dominating show, the Indian team has climbed a rung to the fourth position – their highest since the inception of FIH world rankings in 2003. Also Read - When Balbir Singh Senior Played 1956 Olympic Final Against Pakistan With a Broken Finger
India’s rise comes at the expense of Olympic champions Argentina, who dropped a spot to fifth place. World champions Belgium who in January defeated Australia in Sydney to wrestle top spot from their opponents remain in pole position, with the Kookaburras (2nd) and the Netherlands (3rd) also holding their positions in the top three. Also Read - After Dhyan Chand, There Was Balbir Singh Senior: Milkha Singh
Germany and England remain in sixth and seventh position, while New Zealand, who have earned two wins in their last three FIH Hockey Pro League matches, is static at the eighth place after briefly dropping below Spain to ninth last month. Also Read - Sachin Tendulkar to Virat Kohli, Sardar Singh to Abhinav Bindra: India's Sporting Community Pays Tribute to 'Rare Role Model' Balbir Singh Sr.
In the women’s list, India occupy the ninth spot. The Netherlands is at the top followed by Australia, Argentina, Germany and England.
The new model for calculating the FIH world rankings was introduced on January 1 2020, moving away from the previous tournament-based rankings system to a dynamic, match-based model where opposing teams exchange points in official, FIH sanctioned games.
The number of points exchanged depends on the result of the match, the relative ranking of the teams and the importance of the match.
Recently, the 29th edition of the prestigious Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament pushed from April to September keeping in mind the effect of the deadly Coronavirus outbreak which is spreading at the rate of knots.
The Azlan Shah Cup is an annual men’s international invitational field hockey tournament.