Indians looked disjointed in match against Kiwis

first_imgIt was a very disappointing performance by the Indians against New Zealand. One had thought that after giving the Dutch a run for their money in the first match, India would open their points tally against the Kiwis.It almost seemed like the team was unprepared and lacking in fight. The team looked disjointed and the strategy seemed lacking. There was a lot of gap between the forwards and the half-line.After taking an early lead, the Indians did not show much coordination or teamwork. Even when they went 1-3 down and time was running out, they allowed the New Zealanders to control the tempo. They easily regained possession due to wrong passing by the Indians. The Kiwis had thrashed India 5-1 at the recent Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.On the other hand, after our initial success with the penalty corner, we failed to make the other three count. Our drag flickers seemed to hit the ball at the rusher. There was no variation and it was very predictable for the Kiwis.Against the Dutch, India had a splendid second half when they went into all-out attack and made it 2-2. But there seemed no such urgency on Wednesday. Even when the team loses, one does not feel so bad if they fight till the bitter end.One saw the late match in which the Koreans gave a tough fight to the Germans, who were lucky to escape with a 1-0 win. That sort of defeat one does not mind.advertisementAfter conceding three goals in the first half, skipper Bharat Chetri was taken off at half-time and was replaced by PR Sreejesh.Probably, the team management wanted to avoid the possibility of Chetri letting in more goals. If the captain suffers a dent in confidence, it could have an adverse impact on the whole squad.As far as the forward line is concerned, the less said the better. SV Sunil tried to make forays into the opposition striking circle, but there was nobody to support him. Shivendra seemed lost.To make matters worse, indiscipline also marred India’s chances. Two key players, including Sardar Singh, had to spend time out after being shown yellow cards.This has been a bane of Indian hockey for long. I never got injured in my international career, but suffered several injuries in domestic hockey.Now, India face Germany next. They are the defending champions and are in a different league. India need to show more fight and if there is a miracle, we may get a positive result. We need to have an attacking mindset, but also be careful of defence.(The writer is a 1980 Moscow Olympics gold medallist)last_img

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