India challenged the Australian title charge twice – 2010 and 2014 – but fell woefully short. Come Monday, will India be third time lucky? A lot has changed since the teams last met in a CWG final. When Australia blanked India 4-0 in Glasgow 2014, India’s current chief coach, Australian Graham Reid, was in the champions dugout then. This time round, he will play a pivotal role as India look to dethrone the mighty Aussies.
The odds are stacked against India, who lost the last meeting between the two sides 1-7 in a group match at the Tokyo Olympics last year. But current form and not history will decide the winners and to win that elusive gold, Manpreet Singh and his men will have to play out of their skins on Monday.
Both teams come into the title clash on the back of hard-fought victories in the semifinals. While India battled past South Africa 3-2, Australia scored a come-from-behind victory against hosts England by an identical margin.
Australia play tactically strong hockey marked by aggression and ability to mount pressure on the opposition. This will not be lost on India considering the two teams have faced each other on 129 occasions.
For India to vault over the Australian barrier it is important for the forwardline to come together as a cohesive unit.