India slipped out of the top 10 in men's world hockey rankings following their first-round exit from the Asia Cup and are currently 12th.
Their fifth-place finish in Malaysia earlier this month meant India couldn't defend points earned after winning the title in 2007. India now have 1075 points. Germany (2530 points) lead the table with Australia (2365), Spain (2295) and The Netherlands (2158) occupying the next three berths.
In fifth place, Asia Cup champions South Korea are ranked highest among teams from the continent. Finishing runners-up in the Asia Cup helped Pakistan move up two places to sixth.
“Failure to reach the Asia Cup final cost us nearly 500 points and that is the reason for coming down in the rankings,” coach Harendra Singh told HT on Tuesday.
“That was why I was targeting the Asia Cup final. Then we would have moved to eighth which was my target from the start,” Harendra said.
The coach said India could return to the top-10 with a good performance in the BDO Champions Challenge I, to be held at Quilmes, Argentina, from December 6-13 this year.
“Canada is just one point ahead of us and Argentina (10th - 1147) is also very close, so if we win the Champions Challenge, we will be eighth on December 13,” he said.
Performance in the last four years in FIH organised events and continental championship is taken into consideration for the world rankings.
India will meet Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa in Champions Challenge and winning there will get them back in the reckoning for the Champions Trophy.