Sardar laments inconsistent show

A livid national hockey captain Sardar Singh on Wednesday said that Indian players need to work on their consitency sooner if they harbour any desire to be a potent force in the world circuit again.

India lost out on a golden chance to qualify for the next year’s World Cup in the Netherlands by finishing a lowly sixth in the just-concluded eight-nation World League Round 3.

“We didn’t start well in any of the matches. We played well for five minutes and then allowed the opposition to dominate us for the next 10 minutes. We were inconsistent throughout the tournament. We didn’t play total hockey for the entire 70 minutes in any of the matches,” a fuming Sardar told PTI in an interview.

The skipper was also upset with sudden dip in form of the drag-flick specialists. “With Sandeep Singh, Rupinderpal Singh and V R Raghunath in the side, we were rated as one of the strongest outfits when it came to conversion of drag-flicks but we failed to covert chances in Rotterdam. In every match, we got 5-6 penalty corners but failed to utilise them.

“The entire team is very upset with the performance because were were in high spirits going into the tournament. We all were confident of a good result. But we had a terrible start to the tournament. We needed to win the first game against Ireland but we surprisingly couldn’t although we were favourites coming into the match. It severely hurt us,” Sardar added.

Sardar also said India faltered in all departments of the game in Rotterdam and it’s high time every player realises his own mistakes and works on them if they desire to be a potent force in world hockey again.

“In World League surprsingly, there was a lack of co-ordination among the players. We committed small mistakes in every match and allowed our opponents to score soft goals,” he said.

India now need to win the Asia Cup to qualify for the World Cup.

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