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Friday, August 10, 2012

Indian hockey has hit nadir

Indian hockey team














The Indian hockey team's dismal performance at the London Olympics was an unexpected result which none of us could have anticipated.

With Michael Nobbs at the helm, I thought this was a step towards building a good team and expected them to play at least for the 5-6th places. But after watching their first match against the Dutch, I had my doubts.

The lack of a potent forward line was visible in that match which became our bane at these Games as we went on to lose all our group stage games. It's a shame that we lost so badly after getting a chance to play at these Olympics since our last appearance in 2004.

After such a beating, I would say that Indian hockey has hit the nadir and will have to start from zero.

The other problem area I observed was that we focused on playing defensive hockey. We opted for those tricks of European hockey that are good for them, but not for us. We stopped finding, grooming and fine-tuning a breed of attacking players, opportunists and schemers. And the result is in front of our eyes in the form of this debacle.

Let me also say that these shortcomings have not surfaced right now. For me, the alarm bells rang when we lost 0-8 to Australia in the final of the Commonwealth Games in Games in 2010. We s h o u l d have overcome the deficiencies. But we have gotten our selves into the habit of hype. We win tournaments featuring two to four teams and play it up. And the world thinks these are the best players when it's not so.

Another area of concern for me is the selection of players. I fail to understand the continuous entry and exit of players like Rajpal Singh, Prabjot Singh and Deepak Thakur. The selectors also need to answer why a mediocre player like Sandeep Singh is in the squad and why Ignace Tirkey and Gurwinder Singh Chandi have been included at the last minute.

Continue Reading Story Deccan Chronicle Chennai