Jaipur: There is no dearth of talent and
skill in Indian hockey but the players lack consistency and
their performance are hampered by "technical shortcomings",
feels former national captain Dilip Tirkey.
"We fail to analyse the games as perfectly as the other
teams in the world do. Moreover we lack in basics and have to
improve the technical shortcomings. We possess the skills but
we are still slow and have to be quicker in tackling the
opponents," said Tirkey, who has more than 400 India caps.
"We are able to match them on few occasions but lack the
consistency. The percentage of the penalty corner conversion
is still low and we lose the ball quite frequently which adds
to the pressure," he observed.
Tirkey was at the Rajasthan State Sports Council (RSSC)
here to share his secret of success with some of the budding
players of the state.
Tirkey also said that it is imperative to build up good
bench strength to perform consistently in the international
arena and for that upcoming players should be given enough
exposure as well.
"We need to have good bench strength and also India `A`
like teams, from where players can be inducted into the senior
squad when required, should get more exposure which will help
them hone the skills before being pushed into the highest
level," he said.
Tirkey also urged the corporate sector to extend their
support to put in place proper infrastructure in different
corners of the country.
"We need to work hard and the onus is also on the states.
Except a few like Karnataka and Mumbai not many have leagues.
Few like Rajasthan are lacking in all aspects. The concept of
sports hostels can help but the corporate sector should also
extend a helping hand," said Tirkey, who hails from an adivasi
belt of Orissa.
"The money and glamour attached to cricket in India draws
all corporate towards it. Not many are sponsoring the other
sports including hockey. Moreover the parents also push their
wards into cricket," he added.
Tirkey, however, denied to comment on the controversies
which have rocked the Indian hockey in the past few months.
"I don`t want to go in details but it is true that such
infighting affects mindsets of players and also make longterm
plannings difficult," he said.