Nov 27, 2011

Five things I learnt from India vs Belgium

India played Belgium in the opening encounter of the Champions Challenge 1 which finished in 3-3 draw. Here are five things that I learnt from India vs Belgium

1. Sandeep Singh still cannot defend
Well its a sad but known fact that Sandeep Singh cannot defend. Even since his debut in 2004, he has always been found wanting in defense. Even yesterday in the match against Belgium he was was invisible in the defense. Right from the start he was slow on the field, slow in taking a call and even earned a yellow card for a foul on Belgium player. Coach Noobs used Sandeep sparingly yesterday and he was not there when Indian team won penalty corners. Sandeep Singh has played in many positions for the Indian team (started out in midfield, shifted to defense, went to play as striker and then again back to defense) but he has never justified his position in the team apart from his penalty corner abilities. With new and young penalty corner experts (who can also defend) are coming in the field, his days certainly look numbered due to his poor defense.

2. Indian defense disaster waiting to happen
First half of the yesterday's game told how poor is the Indian defense. Fast paced Belgium team cleanly went pass Indian team without any worries. Belgium missed atleast 3 sitters in the first 25 minutes which proved how shoddy was Indian defense. Sardar Singh who was India's best defender in the year 2010 was also very slow and poor in the heart of Indian defense. His lapses earned Belgium two penalty corners. Indian goalkeeper Bharat Chetri had a good game looking at the scoreline and Indian defense. If not for his heroics in between the sticks, Indian team would have been down 3-0 in the early first half itself. In short Indian defense, is poor, lazy and a disaster waiting to happen

3. Indian young guns impressing
Indian young players notably Rupinder Pal Singh, Yuvraj Walmiki and Chinglensana Singh Kangujam were impressive in the match. Their energy in the game was great and the experienced players could not keep up to them several instances of the game. Yuvraj Walmiki had great chance in the first half to take a lead but he failed to make final placement for the goal. Chinglensana Kangujam was great and scored a beautiful goal. Rupinder Pal Singh also scored a goal and he also had a pretty decent game in the forward line. Indian team better when the young players were on the field as compared to slow experienced players.

4.Art of conceding last minute goals
Well if any team who needs to learn how to concede last minute goals they should consult Indian hockey team. Right from the day I started watching hockey (1998 Asian Games is my oldest hockey memory) Indian team has never stopped conceding late and last minute goals. Yesterday also in the match against Belgium Indian team conceded a last minute goals which helped Belgium to draw the game against India. Whether it is over-cautious approach or the carelessness, Indian team always concedes goals which usually cost us the game. It is high time that Indian team consults some psychologist (no the players are not mad) and get rid of this problem  for once and for all.

5. I am Dhanraj Pillay
Every Indian players believes that he is Dhanraj Pillay and he can score the goal on his own, this is where Indian team is getting it wrong. There was one Dhanraj Pillay and there will not be another Dhanraj Pillay. The hockey that is played today is very fast paced hockey and Indian trick of dribbling the ball right from the half-line to the goal does not matter much. Indian players need to pass the ball at every open opportunity instead of running with the ball on their own to the goal for personal glory. Against Belgium Indian players did the same, they kept on sticking with the ball which always led them to the dead-end. Indian players will have to drop this approach if they want to give win something big and Michael Noobs should teach them the art of passing the ball and not sticking with it till the very end.

India will face host South Africa in the second game of Champions Challenge. You can catch the game live on TEN Sports at 8:20 pm IST

(Image Source: Google Images)

1 comment:

  1. Sorry but i was quite disappointed with the young guns yesterday. Yuvraj walmiki guilty on many occasions and missed a gilt edged chance when 1 on 1 with the keeper. Poor stuff. Chinglensana was a live wire but the one at right back wasn't able to make a simple pass out of defense. Indian defense is shocking because they are not drilled with basics like not to overplay the ball in defense. Just clear it. Lackadaisical and lazy defending. And I have to agree, every one on the team plays selfishly at times. Doesn't pass and keeps on running with the ball like Danish yesterday. Just didn't pass when he was in the attacking 3rd. Drastic improvements are needed.