The Hockey World Cup squad has been announced and Sports Flashes spoke to hockey legend and former captain of the Indian team Sardar Singh, on what he thinks of the prospects of the team for the quadrennial event that starts from 28 November. He was confident that India can finish on the podium but rued the fact that the team will miss the services of experienced trio of SV Sunil, Rupinder Pal Singh and Ramandeep Singh.
In an exclusive interview he told Sports Flashes that the team is largely banking on form more than experience, as there are a number of players with less than 50 caps to their name. The selection has largely been made on form in the recent tournaments and the preparatory camp as well as fitness of the individuals.
On asked whether this was the best team amongst the current pool of players, he said Rupinder Pal will certainly be missed but Birendra Lakra’s inclusion will give the Indian team a boost in the defence. We need to stand behind the team and hope the team brings back glory.
Sports Flashes asked whether the David John episode had a part to play in the exclusion of senior players like Rupinder, SV Sunil and Ramandeep? He quickly retorted by saying that David John who is the High Performance Director, and had a coaching stint in Australia does not have a creditable performance to show even though he’s been a trainer with the Indian team since 2012. May be his insight is that new players should be given a go ahead than the experienced lads. Such chopping and changing does not augur well for a tournament of this stature.
He was fairly pleased with the inclusion of Simranjeet Singh and said that it would have been very difficult to choose between between Simranjeet and Gurjant Singh as there was a very thin line of difference between the two.
We also asked the former captain that, with the team now on paper, what finish did he expect from the Indian team?
It’s a mix of youth and experience but the hard work required will be greater than earlier and the experienced players will have to guide the young guns. With the full packed stadium the team can rise to the occasion and make it past the crunch quarter finals and finish on the podium.
About the Author
Suposh Sharma, keenly follows Hockey, Athletics, and other Olympic sports. He also has a penchant for writing humour and is an avid traveller