Jul 24, 2010

Know your stars: Rajpal Singh

Rajpal Singh, current captain of Indian hockey team has always been unsung hero for me. It can be said that he is the most hard-working players among the current lot. Rajpal who made his debut in 2005 Sultan Azlan Shah cup has not looked back since. He is a great asset to every team in his position. The position of a winger which he took from Deepak Thakur.
His off-field calmness is in contrast to his persona on-field, where his attacking forays upfront impressed coach Jose Brasa so much that he named Rajpal as skipper in place of Sandeep Singh.
Rajpal Singh came into limelight with his first international outing in 2001 during Youth Asia Cup. He scored 7 goals in the tournament and he was adjudged "man of the tournament" for his performance.
With electric heels, the winger makes ever one sit up and take note of him whenever he is on the field. Rajpal Singh has scored good number of goals and he has given many assists to other players of the team.
Going by his tough appearance, it is hard to imagine Rajpal Singh as apop-philosopher who comes up with a gem or two every now and then.
Rajpal’s leadership abilities came to the fore during seven-match tour of Canada during which coach Jose Brasa rotated the captaincy and Rajpal, who led the Chandigarh Dynamos in the now-defunct Premier Hockey League, was made captain for one match. Brasa liked what he saw in Rajpal and put his faith in the man from Chandigarh when Sandeep Singh was laid low by injury before the Champions Challenge I in Salta, Argentina. India won a bronze under Rajpal’s leadership.
Looking at the current performance of the team, Rajpal is second to none. Though Sandeep Singh has been scoring goals but Rajpal's performance is the only thing that is keeping India going. Chances created by him are giving field goals to the Indian team. The Indian team can rely on the captain who leads from the front, when Sandeep is not clicking. He was the second highest scorer in the recently concluded tournament in France.
With Rajpal leading from the front, we can believe that the team will medal in the upcoming Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.

Heads high, stand tall, fly straight, its going to be India all the way

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