Given that the Indian handball teams’ — men’s and women’s — low-key performances in previous editions of the Asian Games and the Asian Championships have not been impressive at all, it was a surprise to find a contingent being sent to Jakarta-Palembang in the first place. The men’s team had its best finish at the 1982 Games in New Delhi, placing eighth. This was the first time India had participated in the sport. India skipped handball for the next five editions, then the men’s team finished 12th in 2006, ninth in 2010 and 14th in 2014. The women’s team has fared no better, finishing eighth and last in 2006 and eighth in a field of nine teams in 2010 and 2014. In fact, India did not even send a squad to the 2017 Asian Women’s Handball Championship. At the 2018 Asian Men’s Handball Championship held in South Korea, India finished 12th.