Monday, June 2, 2014

Shocking First Half

It was shocking to see India's preparedness for Hockey World Cup's first match. No, it was not by design the team was playing a tactical defensive first half, conceding a solitary goal. The team was lucky and should thank Sreejesh and Bikram Lakra for thwarting numerous Belgian attacks.

It was like a college team playing a national side....they couldn't manage the basics right. Forget anticipation and off the ball running, they couldn't trap the ball and the ones they did...were not sure what to do next - holding the ball long enough so that Belgian players could come and snatch it from them.

The 3-2 score and the last minute goal is only incidental. As a team there should have been more urgency. The weakest link - Manpreet Singh. Like the entire match, he was completely lost when Belgium scored the winner. And also can't remember him essaying any through ball either. On the other hand Mandeep Singh's approach is like a breath of fresh air. He has the necessary skills of a predator and a complete team man. Akashdeep Singh also looks like someone who's in for a long haul. I believe he's quite shy but no instant celebration (TV replay) when Mandeep scored the equaliser....