Focussing on the success of India’s much-pilloried national hockey side, I’d like to raise a point that we do know a thing or two about sport. The tactics and gameplay implemented by new coach Joaquim Carvalho on the inexperienced young side would leave the founder of hockey stunned. He has had a superb impact on India’s hockey team, turning around the fortunes in style. His off-field appointment of badminton coach Ganguly Prasad to help out the goalkeepers (shuttling) was a managerial masterstroke.
The uncharacteristic grit and valour shown by the team during the Azlan Shah tournament in Kuala Lampur has been added into a side not short on talent and skill. In sport, they say, it takes more than just skills to touch greatness. It takes a strong mental attitude and approach from every component of a squad to succeed. Carvalho has done that very well, and in a professional manner.
Indian hockey is now back on track. With the seniors now coming in, the team could become stronger than ever. I think they can aim for Beijing next year, especially as the memories of good have been dirtied by the Doha debacle. Till then, more legwork for better stickwork…..