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Sack ‘Low’ Performance Director, Bring Back Harendra Singh as India Hockey Coach: V Baskaran

It’s not happened for the first time and doesn’t look like it’s the last. Yet another Indian hockey coach — this time Harendra Singh — was sacked after a mediocre sixth place finish at the 2018 Hockey World Cup. Within six years this Indian men’s team has seen the ouster of as many coaches in what has seemingly become a trend.
Harendra Singh  indian hockey team coach

After Harendra took over from current women’s coach Sjoerd Marijne, the former would have hoped that he was here to stay and could eventually take India to new heights. But little did he know of the erratic ways of Hockey India. After just seven months into the service, he was removed from his position and asked to coach the junior team once again.

Former India coach V Baskaran, who coached the Indian team for close to 10 years, is miffed with the move and wants Harendra back in the job. Talking to News18 Sports, the 68-year-old also expressed his displeasure with the way the Sports Ministry has had no say in all the mess. “How can Harendra go back to the junior level if he has done so well with the senior team. Honestly, he was India’s best coach in the last 2-3 years because he has helped India beat big sides with great margins. He has handled the team better than any of the foreigners,” Baskaran said.

Hockey gameplay

Murugappa Gold Cup Hockey: ONGC and IOC Register Easy Wins

Indian Oil Corporation outclassed Chennai Hockey Association 4-0 Sunday in a Pool ‘B’ match in the 92nd All-India MCC Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament here. Punjab & Sind Bank defeated Indian Navy 4-2 in another match in the same group, while defending champion got its campaign back on track with a 4-0 thrashing of Mumbai Hockey Association in Pool ‘A’. IOC’s win today has put Chennai HA’s chances of advancing to the knockout stage in jeopardy.

Nitin Kumar gave Indian Oil the lead in the 10th minute but the local team kept the rival forwards at bay with some resolute defence to keep 1-0 at half-time. In the second half, IOC scored thrice through former international V R Raghunath (50th minute) through a penalty corner conversion, Roshan Minz (55th) and Gurjinder Singh (62nd) to secure a comfortable win.

Punjab & Sind Bank, which led 1-0 at half-time put it across the Navy team 4-2 thanks to a brace from Jaskaran Singh. Gaganpreet Singh and Parvinder Singh were the other scorers for the bankmen. For Navy, the goals came through Rana Pratap (37th minute) and Ranjot Singh (47th minute). ONGC which was held to a 3-3 draw by the Central Secretariat team yesterday, went on the attack against Mumbai HC from the onset and went ahead in the 17th minute through Shilanand Lakra.

Gurjant Singh put the reigning champions ahead 2-nil by putting one past the Mumbai custodian in the 26th minute. ONGC added two more to the tally, by scoring in the 38th and 70th minutes through Neelam Xess and Jagwant Singh respectively.

Source – News 18

We Need to Prepare Better for Penalty Corners, Shoot-outs: Captain PR Sreejesh

After scoring 76 goals in the group stages of the recently concluded Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, the Indian men’s hockey team lost to Malaysia in the semi-finals in a sudden death.

 Captain PR Sreejesh

India came into the Games as the defending champions, and gold medal favourites, but four misses in the nerve wracking penalties meant they were relegated to the third-fourth playoff match against arch-rivals Pakistan, as they finished with bronze.In the semi-final, India led 2-1 at the 40th minute. With sixty seconds to go, they conceded an equaliser against the Malaysians. Conceding late goals has been the Indian team’s perennial problem.

“We made a few small mistakes and paid a huge price for that. One loss or one bad day does not mean we are a bad team, but yes it hurt to be defeated like that,” PR Sreejesh told News18Sports after returning from the Asian Games. Just a month before that, in the Champions Trophy final against Australia, once again India had lost on penalties. “Penalty shootouts are not always about skills, in fact it is more in the mind and going forward we have to work on improving that aspect of our game. Sometimes though luck has unfortunately deserted us,” says Sreejesh. “We have to be mentally stronger and we have to work on that accordingly.”

The loss to Malaysia in the Asian Games semi-final had left Hockey India officials miffed. The loss was unexpected to say the least, and with that India had missed out on the opportunity of a direct qualification for the Tokyo Olympics. “Our men players have become spoilt brats. They are always busy on social media and have no regard for discipline. They should learn from athletes, shooters and badminton players,” a Hockey India official said had said at the time. “The players and the team management has let the entire nation down. With the World Cup round the corner we can’t make any changes now. But the performance in the World Cup will decide the future of the players and the team management.”

The Indian captain didn’t hold back when asked about the extreme criticism. “We will always give our best for the nation no matter what, the federation can look at things the way they want to. But let me promise you, this team does not let external influences get in the way of performing or trying their best,” he said, to defend his team, just like he does match after match on the ground.

Source – News 18

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