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Sandeep's, Prabhjot's flop show hurt India: Ashok Kumar

Source: PTI
March 08, 2010 20:07 IST
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Former hockey captain Ashok Kumar feels a couple of senior players in the Indian side were off-colour in the ongoing hockey World Cup and injecting young blood in the team is the need of the hour.

Ashok said drag-flicker Sandeep Singh and forward Prabhjot Singh were not up to the mark, which made things difficult for India.

"After the retirement of Dilip Tirkey the defence is shaky. Sandeep is a very good drag flicker. He converts 50 per cent of penalty corners. But a full back does not do only penalty corner conversion job.

"You have to tackle well and retrieve the ball after losing possession. He is lacking in those things," Ashok, member of India's 1975 World Cup winning sqaud, told reporters here.

"Prabhjot Singh has lost his speed and not many moves came from the left side. In our time, we had Mukesh Kumarat the right who is seen everywhere, running here and there," said Ashok, son of legendary Dhyan Chand.

He said India should groom younger players and play them at the right time if the country wants to revive hockey.

"Only two or three players of the 2001 Junior World Cup winning squad is playing in the current senior side. Where are they (the junior players) gone? You have to groom young players and select them in the senior side," he said.

"Start grooming talented 14-year-olds now and after six-seven years they can graduate to the senior side," Ashok added.

The former skipper also wants more transparency in the selection process and other matters like the team tactics.

"The selection process should be more transparent. The performance of players in selection trial should carry weight," Ashok opined.

Asked about his view on coach Jose Brasa's comments that India lack experience and he would not have created a miracle in just seven months, Ashok said, "You play good hockey if your hand executes the message of the brain properly. You need to execute the plans put in place. That did not happen in India's case in this World Cup."

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