Sardar eager to find his `scoring stick` in upcoming HIL

New Delhi: He has not been on target for quite some time now and India captain Sardar Singh is itching to get a few in order to end his goal-scoring drought while leading his team Delhi Waveriders in the second edition of cash-rich Hockey India League that starts in Mohali on Saturday.

From being the chief playmaker for India to leading the side, Sardar has tried to fulfill all roles to the best of his abilities till date but his inability of score goals everytime he takes the turf continues to haunt the hardworking midfielder from Sirsa, who is the only Indian player to have featured in FIH All Star Team twice in succession.

"It (lack of goals) always pains me. Whenever I go out to play an international match, I always think today I might score a goal bit it doesn`t happen that way. I really forgot when was the last time that I scored a goal," Sardar told a leading agency.

But the hardworking India captain is not ready to throw in the towel yet.

"I am not someone who will give hope. I am an optimistic person and I will keep on working hard on my game and hope to score goals very soon. I will try to break that jinx in HIL 2014," he said.

"I will play more attacking hockey and try to help the forward line in attack and hope for a goal or two in the process," added Sardar, who will lead Delhi Waverriders against Jaypee Punjab Warriors tomorrow in the opening match of the second HHIL at the newly-built hockey stadium in Mohali.

Under Sardar's leadership and coach A K Bansal's guidance, Delhi Waveriders had a fantastic outing in the inaugural HHIL last year and finished runners-up after losing 1-2 to champions Ranchi Rhinos in the summit clash.

But with a new coach on board in Cedric D'souza and couple of changes in the squad, Sardar sounded realistic about his side's chances in the franchise based event.

"It's a new tournament. So obviously it's a new beginning for us. Quite a few players have also changed in our side. The coaching staff has also changed. So you can say it's a new day for us and we will have leave behind last year's performance and start from the scratch," he said.

"We had a tremendous inaugural HHIL even though we lost in the final. But we will try to replicate last year's performance and produce quality hockey for the fans of the game," Sardar said.

Besides being the leader of Waveriders, Sardar has a much bigger responsibility as the captain of Indian men's hockey team. But the soft-spoken player was realistic about Asian Games being one of primary targets for the team.

"We have plenty of important tournaments lined up this year. Hockey World League was good outing for us. We came to know where we stand against top teams before the World Cup, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Champions Trophy, in which areas we need to improve," he said.

"There were a lot of positives to take from this tournament but we will try to improve that performance and cut down on the mistakes which we did in HWL.

"We have four important tournaments this year but our main target is Asian Games. The Asian Games is a crucial tournament for us because if we win gold in the Asian Games we will directly qualify for 2016 Olympics."