Pakistan and India have participated in field hockey as important hockey teams in the last century; both countries are performing with varying success these days.
Choosing which the best hockey team between India and Pakistan is difficult because they use the same type of strategies and play a similar game. There has always been a spoken rivalry between the Pakistan and India field hockey teams.
In my opinion, I believe that Pakistan is a better field hockey team when compared to India, but only slightly. The reason I go for the Pakistan team is the overall record compared with India’s. As you can tell I’m basing this on history as an important factor. When you follow field hockey history, you will realise that Pakistan has many more achievements than India.
By Pete Jones, hockey enthusiast and writer.
All said, I personally find it a continuous topic of hard debate which of these two hockeying nations is, “the best”. Despite Pakistan’s bigger, more enviable trophy collection over the years, today’s state of play counts.
India’s men are ranked 5th by hockey’s ruling body, The FIH. While Pakistan’s men have slipped to a lowly 17th.
India’s women are ranked 9th and Pakistan’s women aren’t even in the top 20. Two great hockey nations have slipped down the pecking order with India showing signs of some kind of revival and Pakistan on the other hand not doing so.
India will be competing in 2020 FIH world tournament for the first time and have a super star in their ranks: Sandeep Singh who holds the drag speed world record at 145 km/ph. I will withdraw from the debate at this juncture and allow you to read more of Pete’s paragraphs answering the red hot question.
By Eddie, fan of the game.
Pakistan holds the most number of field hockey world cup wins than any other country to date. The Pakistan field hockey team has won the title 4 times while the India field hockey team has only won it once. Numbers do not lie, so it can be seen clearly that Pakistan is a better team.
One of the most important competitions after the world cup is the Champions Trophy. While India has never won the Champions Trophy, Pakistan has done it 3 times which is pretty impressive.
The Champions Trophy is one of the most coveted trophies in field hockey and all the big countries participate in the tournament. The countries that participate include Britain, Australia, Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. India winning the Champions Trophy is, therefore very impressive when you consider the countries that participate in the tournament.
The Asia Cup is the only tournament where the India field hockey team and the Pakistan field hockey team are balanced in terms of title wins. Both the two nations have won the Asia Cup three times. However, India has won the Summer Olympics 8 times while Pakistan has only won it 3 times.
Over the years, Pakistan and India have played a total of 172 head-to-head matches in field hockey. Pakistan has won 82 of those matches while India has won just 59, and there have been 31 draws.
Comparing Pakistan’s and India’s track record in field hockey, you can deduce that Pakistan is the better team. I believe that when it comes to sports, the achievement is the most important thing. The only way to know whether a team is performing well or dismally is by looking at the track record of achievements.
The Pakistan field hockey team has played better games when compared to the India counterparts. Looking at the head-to-head matches, you can see that Pakistan has beaten India by a long margin of about 23 games. The India field hockey team, therefore, has a lot of work to do before they can achieve what the Pakistan team has accomplished.
Pakistan Field Hockey History:
Pakistan has two teams when it comes to field hockey: the men’s national team and the women’s national team. Both the two Pakistan field hockey teams are managed by the Pakistan Hockey Federation. The men’s team is currently ranked at number 17, while the women’s team is currently ranked at number 62 according to the FIH World Ranking.
The women’s team has gone down about 6 slots while the men’s team has remained steady when you compare the previous ratings. Being ranked at number 17 currently is not a great position regarding their history.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation was started in 1948 following the independence. However, before independence, the field hockey team used to consist of both present-day Pakistan and present-day India players. The first international match that the team participated in was in the year 1948 where they beat Belgium in the 14th Olympics by one goal.
In 1953, field martial Ayub Khan declared field hockey as Pakistan’s national sport and championed it more than cricket and football. This was the significant factor that greatly lead to the rise of field hockey in Pakistan.
The field hockey sport rose greatly in Pakistan and the players were known for their great dribbling skills all over the world. Field hockey was widely adored in Pakistan during the earlier years and it was at this time that the national team rose to fame and won the Champions Trophy and the World Cup.
However, during the ’90s, the level of attention paid to field hockey in Pakistan started declining. Similarly, the participation of youth in field hockey also started declining and more schools and colleges started neglecting the game. Cricket began getting all the attention and naturally, the youth flocked to that direction as well as the media. Despite this sudden interest in cricket, field hockey is still the national sport of Pakistan.
India Field Hockey History:
India also has two teams in field hockey: the men’s national team and the women’s national team. The men’s field hockey team is the first non-European team to be part of the prestigious International Hockey Federation.
India field hockey team won its first Olympic gold medal in the year 1928. Between the years of 1928 and 1956, the India field hockey team made remarkable achievements and this period was referred to as the golden era of field hockey in India.
The men’s field hockey team won the Olympic gold medal six times in a row remaining unbeaten for that period. India was greatly known for having the most skilled dribblers in field hockey when compared to the European countries.
India hosted the 2018 world cup games at Odisha where they performed quite well and were ranked at number 5 by the FIH world ranking. The women’s field hockey team is ranked at position 9 which is equally impressive.
Since 2005, the Indian Hockey Federation has hosted the domestic hockey league with clubs from eight Indian cities participating. This tournament includes around 200 participants from all over the world including India. The name currently is given as World Series Hockey to replace the old tournament that was known as Premier Hockey League.
I will stick with my earlier assessment that Pakistan is the greater team. Polemicists dont pounce on me! India is on the up and currently higher ranked than Pakistan.
Field hockey is a great sport that is thrilling and entertaining throughout. Although field hockey does not get enough coverage when compared to other sports such as football in many countries, it is a great sport that you should check out.
By Pete Jones, hockey enthusiast and writer.