I am enthralled by hockey. I have always liked watching the game. And with the world cup being at home you couldn’t miss the action. Many other tournaments that India participated in often got little or no media coverage and we didn't know what was happening unless of course they won the tournament.
Indian hockey has always been entertaining. In fact an India Pakistan encounter is full of passion and superb wizardry. It’s easily the best in the business. So what goes wrong? Why can’t we win consistently? Out of 12 teams participating, India is world no. 12. They sure deserve to be way up in the ranking. Unfortunately there are no points for aesthetics. It’s the goals you score and those that you defend that earn you the points. Against Australia we were simply out played. They were the better team, though we put up a good fight. Two quick goals within minutes of opening and you are on the back foot all the time. With the pace of hockey you cannot afford to take your foot off the pedal. I think we could have beaten Spain in the last match. There was a serious lack of anticipation of the opponent’s moves. We were too slow to react at many points. And again trailing after two goals you are playing catch up. It’s always better to draw the first blood and then step up the pressure. India came back strongly in today’s match with England. Trailing once again we did well in the last half an hour to reduce the deficit by 2 goals. Two inspired goals... beautifully executed. But for 2 very good chances that we couldn’t capitalize on we might have won the match. And mind you England beat world no. 2 Australia and are the group leaders! So it was never going to be easy, particularly with our backs against the wall.
We might have lost but our heads are high. We played with passion. We have to improve on many aspects and we lost to better ranked teams. We can’t expect to peak only at the world cup and hope to win it. It’s about building a team and playing consistently. Much like the Indian cricket team. The least we can do is support our team. Stand by them even if they not winning. And hopefully the new dawn of Indian Hockey is just around the corner.
Cheers India. Thank you for the entertainment.