Sandeep`s and Prabhjot`s no show hurt India in WC: Ashok Kumar
New Delhi: Former hockey captain Ashok
Kumar feels a couple of senior players in the Indian side were
off-colour in the ongoing hockey World Cup and injecting young
blood in the team is the need of the hour.
Ashok said drag-flicker Sandeep Singh and forward
Prabhjot Singh were not up to the mark, which made things
difficult for India.
"After the retirement of Dilip Tirkey the defence is
shaky. Sandeep is a very good drag flicker. He converts 50 per
cent of penalty corners. But a full back does not do only
penalty corner conversion job.”
"You have to tackle well and retrieve the ball after
losing possession. He is lacking in those things," Ashok,
member of India`s 1975 World Cup winning sqaud, told reporters
"Prabhjot Singh has lost his speed and not many moves
came from the left side. In our time, we had Mukesh Kumar
at the right who is seen everywhere, running here and there,"
said Ashok, son of legendary Dhyan Chand.
He said India should groom younger players and play them
at the right time if the country wants to revive hockey.
"Only two or three players of the 2001 Junior World Cup
winning squad is playing in the current senior side. May be
Prabhjot and Deepak Thakur. Where are they (the junior
players) gone. You have to groom young players and select
them in the senior side," he said.
"Start grooming talented 14-year-olds now and after six-
seven years they can graduate to the senior side," Ashok
The former skipper also wants more transparency in the
selection process and other matters like the team tactics.
"The selection process should be more transparent. The
performance of players in selection trial should carry
weight," Ashok opined.
Asked about his view on coach Jose Brasa`s comments that
India lack experience and he would not have created a miracle
in just seven months, Ashok said, "You play good hockey if
your hand executes the message of the brain properly. You need
to execute the plans put in place. That did not happen in
India`s case in this World Cup."
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