There’s something seriously wrong with Indian hockey. I’m not talking about the squabbling in the Indian hockey association. It’s our team that bothers me. We’re starting to consistently stink up the place. I watched India get drubbed by Malaysia (4-1) just now and it’s a sickening feeling.
I think almost every Indian hockey lover remembers the golden days and wonders when we’ll reach the greatness that is our legacy. Not in a long, long time if we continue the way we are going. We’ve tried different Indian coaches, we’ve tried a foreign coach who rubbed people the wrong way (and wasn’t really a great coach anyway) and we still come up way short.
What we need is a coach who is a professional, who will make sure that India plays like a team, and who’ll pick the best players, and who’ll change the way we play. There is an absolute lack of creativity in the way India plays now-a-days. We rely on individual brilliance and there is no concept of a team.
We need to get a coach with proven success in the international field, who’ll teach the Indians how to adapt to the “new” style of hockey. If he charges a great deal, borrow some money from the BCCI and pay him. We can pay the BCCI back when we win some tournaments, and when the success comes so will the sponsors.
It’s such a joy to watch the Indians play when they are in full flow, but lately that’s been rare and it happens in spite of the coaches not because of them. There is talent in the country, but it’s how we use the talent and how we adapt to the “modern” game that will determine whether we’re bottom-dwellers or whether we’re back to the glory days.
Hockey is our national game, it’s time to reclaim it.