Home Sports Cannot Blame Graham Reid, Indian Players Did Not Give Their Best at Hockey World Cup: Ex-India Captain V Baskaran

Cannot Blame Graham Reid, Indian Players Did Not Give Their Best at Hockey World Cup: Ex-India Captain V Baskaran

Cannot Blame Graham Reid, Indian Players Did Not Give Their Best at Hockey World Cup: Ex-India Captain V Baskaran


Former India males’s hockey workforce captain V Baskaran, who led them to their final gold medal at the 1980 Olympics, got here down closely on the gamers after the dismal present at the lately concluded World Cup. Hosts India completed ninth with Germany lifting the title in Bhubaneswar on 29 January.

Hosting the World Cup for a second consecutive version, India had been anticipated to at least attain the semi-finals – one thing that they’ve not achieved since 1975. A drought-breaking bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, first medal since 1980 Summer Games, gave good purpose to be optimistic. However, the workforce, coached by Graham Reid and captained by Harmanpreet Singh, did not dwell as much as the expectations as they misplaced to a lowly New Zealand within the crossover match to get knocked out.

To make issues worse, coach Graham Reid resigned instantly after the showpiece occasion got here to an finish. While Reid had come underneath criticism for India’s below-par efficiency, Baskaran feels the blame lies with the gamers for failing to supply their ‘A game’ at the very best degree.

Baskaran, ex-India captain and coach at the 1998 and 2006 World Cups, mentioned what might have led to India’s under-par outing within the World Cup, Reid’s resignation and the way in which ahead for Indian hockey.


What’s your response to Graham Reid resigning as India coach, particularly after we improved so drastically underneath him?

He turned India right into a aggressive unit. We improved on a number of fronts underneath his tenure. The very first thing he improved was we stopped conceding objectives within the final two minutes. On the Australia tour earlier than the World Cup, we noticed the workforce bouncing again from 2-1 all the way down to win a match 4-3. The resignation is his personal choice. His choice alongside together with his contribution needs to be revered earlier than we begin speaking about why he resigned or who can change him. That is the Australian tradition. A tradition by which if you happen to don’t produce outcomes then you definitely personal it. In my opinion, he ought to have undoubtedly continued. Before resigning, he ought to have consulted Hockey India president Dilip Tirkey. Dilip himself being an Olympian would have understood the state of affairs.

What do you assume should have compelled Reid to resign from his put up regardless of being so extremely profitable and serving to India break the Olympic medal drought?

I’ve heard, nonetheless how true I don’t know, that among the gamers aren’t pleased with the teaching. That’s our Indian gamers’ angle. You can’t blame the coach, the execution needs to be carried out by the gamers. In the World Cup, everybody talked about PC (penalty nook) conversion, however someplace down the road, the gamers didn’t give their finest. If the gamers don’t give their finest no matter sport plan or coaching you make (received’t work). The identical workforce minus 4 gamers did so effectively towards Germany within the final Olympics, bouncing again from 1-Three down and profitable bronze.

People anticipated this workforce to carry out at a a lot larger degree. First I converse as a participant. The fireplace within the Indian workforce was lacking from what it was at the Olympics. Even if you happen to take out Rupinder Pal Singh, Simranjit Singh, Dilpreet Singh and Gurjant Singh, there was sufficient expertise within the squad. Comparing them to Europeans, the Netherlands is a model new workforce. How did these gamers execute at the very best degree? That is lacking from Indian gamers. Another factor is possibly Graham Reid might have felt a celeb tradition within the workforce. The Indian gamers might have thought that they’re celebrities.

Graham Reid (Hockey India Image)

Where will we go from right here? With Hockey Pro League resuming in March and Asian Games in 9 months, how ought to Hockey India proceed additional?

From right here the place we go, is Hockey India’s plan. Whether we proceed with the identical gamers or we could have a brand new setup. In March we’ve got the Pro League. In my opinion, the core group was not constant. I can ask so many questions: how did Varun Kumar come again into the core group? After getting back from England, he was eliminated after which he got here again instantly. The health of Lalit Upadhyay, a very good participant, however he had suffered an harm (knee) some time again. Some sharpness was lacking within the ahead line. All the opposite groups once they did not get PC objectives, bought subject objectives. We ought to have had extra forwards within the squad of 18 as an alternative of getting simply 4. The identification of the ahead line was not very aggressive and that put stress on the midfield.

Do you then assume it will likely be sensible to have an Indian coach now contemplating that there are such a lot of prime competitions developing and little or no time for anybody to adapt and quiet down?

First factor, Hockey India ought to have an advisory committee in hockey identical to we’ve got in cricket. To choose the coach. A search committee for the gamers. Dilip himself has been an incredible participant so he ought to have the ability to do the correct issues. We have to have a committee to do issues in an organised and correct manner. Because we’ve got an Olympics coming subsequent yr.

Going again to Reid asking for a psychological conditioning coach for India. What are your ideas on that?

I disagree. The identical workforce received the bronze medal with no psychological coach. Let’s be very sincere we’ve got gamers who’ve performed over 200 video games. The identical workforce after being one aim down bought 4 objectives to win the bronze medal. If you win, it’s onerous work. When you lose, it’s as a consequence of a scarcity of a psychological conditioning coach. Winning is about quite a lot of proper choices.

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