New Delhi: Indian hockey captain Rajpal Singh Monday said teammates Sandeep Singh and Sardara Singh had breached discipline but the team`s morale was not affected by the duo being banned.
Hockey India (HI) Saturday served a two-year ban on drag-flicker Sandeep and mid-fielder Sardar for indiscipline for leaving the national camp in Bangalore midway. They were twice before pulled up for breach of discipline this year.
"Discipline is important and when senior players do it, it sets a wrong precedent. You cannot at the last minute give reasons like I am not well or someone in my family is not well and leave. Things don`t work like this," Rajpal, who was conferred the Arjuna Award Monday, told IANS.
"The team`s morale is high. We chose not to talk about what has happened, rather we are focussing on grooming the youngsters and giving our best in the coming events."
The team has a new coach in Australian Michael Nobbs but Rajpal chose to delay his assessment of him for some time.
"So far it is been good. But how good a coach or a player is, you get to know only after a few tournament," he said.
India are to play in the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos, China, Sep 3-11. The team left for the tournament Sunday while Rajpal will leave Monday night.
The tournament features the top six finishers at the Asian Games in Guangzhou last year -- gold medallists Pakistan, losing finalists Malaysia, third-placed India, South Korea, Japan and China.