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Indian Team Slammed by Former Players After ‘Debacle’

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Indian Team Slammed by Former Players After ‘Debacle’

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Indian hockey legends on Tuesday slammed the nationwide staff for its “common” performance in the World Cup where they lost to New Zealand to crash out of the quarterfinal race, saying the debacle has halted the momentum the nation had gained after winning a historic bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.

India had gone into the showpiece with hopes of finishing on the podium for the first time after the gold medal-winning feat in 1975 but lost to New Zealand in sudden death in the crossover match.

The hosts will play 9th to 16th classification matches on Thursday and Saturday in Rourkela.

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Member of the 1975 gold-winning team Ashok Kumar said the Indians lacked quality and were far inferior to top nations in all departments of the game.

“The team was given all kinds of support, 6-7 months camp, foreign exposure, top class infrastructure, the best of diets, what else could have been done? And what performance did they give? You cannot even reach the quarterfinals of a home World Cup in front of your fans,” Kumar stated.

“It has to do loads with the standard of gamers, finally the debacle was attributable to common gamers enjoying common video games. That can’t win you a World Cup medal,” he added.

Making further analysis of the performance, Kumar said, “Whenever we attacked, most of the time we ended up at the opposition circle. I don’t know how the players were trained, there was no distribution of the ball, no creative passes, they simply didn’t know what to do. If you can’t score more than four goals against a team like Wales, then what are you doing? “Since, they cannot score from open play, they had to depend on penalty corners and Harmanpreet Singh was under tremendous pressure and he failed. We were not up to the mark in all departments of the game. Except for Akashdeep Singh, I would say no (outfield) player played well in the four matches.

“The team failed miserably in defence also. They conceded two goals against Wales and then allowed New Zealand to come back twice after two-goal down. They cannot do that in a World Cup. I don’t know why Rupinder Pal Singh retired after the Olympics, he would have been a great asset in defence and PC conversion,” the 72-year-old stated. Asked if there must be adjustments within the teaching employees, Kumar, who scored the profitable aim within the 1975 World Cup closing in opposition to arch-rivals Pakistan, stated, “We have had many international coaches previously however what’s our achievement within the World Cup after 1975. So, please inform me what distinction would have been there if we had Indian coaches. Indian coaches wouldn’t have accomplished worse at the least.

“Thanks to the assist of the federal government, particularly the Odisha authorities, we’re internet hosting World Cups right here and our staff ought to have capitalised on this. But it’s like we’re internet hosting tournaments and our staff is just not getting higher. I really feel that the great momentum we gained from the Tokyo Olympics has been halted by this World Cup efficiency.” Former captain Sardar Singh stated the debacle was as a result of collective failure of the staff.

“Hockey is a team game. If you want to win a tournament, 14 to 15 players of the squad need to perform at 70 to 80 per cent, which was missing in this World Cup,” stated the legendary midfielder, who’s a part of the Hockey India choice committee.

“Hardik’s harm was a giant blow as he was the primary participant within the midfield. He was instrumental in linking up with the forwards and creating alternatives, apart from scoring a aim (in opposition to Spain).” Sardar also agreed that Harmanpreet felt the pressure of captaincy as he missed one penalty corner after another.

“He (Harmanpreet) felt the pressure of captaincy, that too in a home World Cup. He is one of the best drag-flickers in the world and did well in the Test series against Australia also.

“But he did not look his best, perhaps feeling the pressure. But he is a world class player and cannot be counted out.” On head coach Graham Reid asking for a psychological conditioning coach going forward, Sardar stated, “If he (Reid) felt so, he ought to have raised the demand after the Olympics. Hockey India and SAI have been offering all crucial assist to the staff and they’d have addressed it too.” Hockey India president and former captain Dilip Tirkey said not reaching the quarterfinals of the World Cup after the high of Tokyo Olympics less than two years ago was very disappointing.

“Some players from whom we had a lot of expectations, they somehow could not perform. We all have accepted it,” he stated.

“We received a number of penalty corners however we scored a number of from them. There was one thing lacking in our defensive construction additionally.”

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(This story has not been edited by News18 employees and is printed from a syndicated information company feed)

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