Hockey Rankings: India men move up to third, women ride Pro League show to best-ever seventh position
Mumbai, May 2 (IANS) Good performance in their respective FIH Pro League matches helped the Indian men's and women's hockey teams move up in FIH World Rankings -- the men moving up a place to third and the women jumping two spots to seventh.
Three wins and a draw over England (3-3 and 4-3) and Germany (3-0 and 3-1) helped India, with 2503.349 points, move ahead of the Netherlands, who dropped to fourth with 2465.707 points.
India men are now placed behind Australia and Belgium as the top of the men's rankings remained unaltered -- Australia are ranked No 1 with 2842.258 points after a successful four-match test series against Malaysia; Belgium are in second place with 2763.486 points.
India and Netherlands hold third and fourth places respectively with Germany (2248.019), Argentina (2179.069), England (2079.512) and New Zealand (1798.247) following behind. France are in ninth at 1728.013, Spain follow with 1720.526. Malaysia, Canada and South Africa sit in 11th, 12th and 13th positions.
The successful outings at the Kalinga Stadium against England and Germany also helped India men move to the top of the FIH Pro League Standings with 27 points from 12 matches. They will next play Belgium in Antwerp on June 11 and 12, followed by two matches against the Netherlands on June 18 and 19 in Rotterdam.
While the men soared in the rankings, a win over the Netherlands helped the Indian women's team move up two places to seventh in FIH World Rankings, achieving their best-ever position on the list.
With the Indian women playing in the Pro League for the first time, the Dutch visited the country for the first time and that gave the hosts a good opportunity to beat them in one match, which helped them to move up to 2029.396 points.
The Netherlands (3015.716 points) consolidated their position at the top of the rankings after two wins against the USA, and a win and a defeat against India. Argentina's continuing good form in the Pro League means they remain in second place on 2610.650, with Australia (2434.048) in third.
A win and a draw against the USA keep England (2384.971) in the fourth position, with their next FIH Hockey Pro League opponents Germany (2240.079) are fifth. Spain remain in sixth with 2033.878 points, while India move up to seventh. Belgium are in eighth with 1985.293, ahead of New Zealand (1921.113) whose ninth position is their lowest ranking for many years, the FIH informed in a release on Monday.
The Indian women's team too leads the standings in FIH Pro League with 22 points from eight matches. They have four (3 points each) outright wins, one win in shootout (2 points) and two defeats in shootout (1 point each).
They also bagged six points for the two matches against England women that were scheduled on April 2-3 in Bhubaneswar but were cancelled due to suspected Covid-19 cases in the English squad. Consequently, it was agreed between the FIH and the two nations that the 6 points available for these 2 matches be awarded to India.