The Indian Men’s Volleyball Team may not be well-known internationally, but the players are very familiar to fans of the sport in India. They follow the international team and support the players through every tournament they participate in.
Recently we spoke to a gambling expert from JustGamblers who said, “The men’s volleyball team has something of a chequered history. The team had its best years back in the 1980s and success is often hard to come by. But the players work hard, and they have a significant following in the country.”
It’s certainly true that the team has had a rocky history with a limited amount of success. Let’s take a closer look at its story and some of the better players to have represented their country.
Limited presence globally but some success nearer to home
The Indian men’s volleyball team has not made many appearances on the global stage. The team has never participated in the Olympics. But, the players have achieved some success closer to home winning a silver and two bronze medals at the Asian Games.
The team’s finest era was from the 1960s to the 1980s when great players like Cyril Valloor appeared. He was part of the team that won a bronze medal at the Asian Games in 1986.
After a dip in form, from 2010 the team has managed to reach an improved level of form. Unfortunately, an internal dispute in the Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) interrupted the team’s progress as it led to it being banned from the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) from 2016 until 2018.
Since its return, the team has continued to concentrate on making progress.
Current squad struggled to succeed at last Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship
The current squad participated in the most recent Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship which took place in Japan from 12 to 19 September 2021. Coach G.E. Sridharan could choose his teams from a squad including big names like Jerome Vinith, C.S. Akhin, and Ashwin Raj.
When they began the tournament, the Indian team was ranked 77th in the FIVB World Rankings. The players hoped to achieve their best possible performances and improve the team’s ranking. At the end of the day, they were partly successful, but it was a struggle.
They won the ninth place play-off against Bahrain having lost to the same team in their first appearance of the competition. The Indian team also lost to Qatar and Japan which led to them finishing bottom of Group A.
Wins against Kuwait, Uzbekistan, and Saudi Arabia followed, leading to them securing their appearance in the ninth place play-off. Although finishing ninth is not ideal for the players it did mean that the team’s ranking improved to 71. This may not be the biggest success but at least it’s something for the players to take away from what was a disappointing tournament overall.
Hopefully, they will go forward from this appearance and achieve greater things in future tournaments.