SARDARA PLAYS DOWN PRESSURE of leading international stars in Hero HIL
Author(s): City Air NewsSardara Singh New Delhi, January 25, 2013: Leading a team with multiple international stars could be a herculean task and many have crumbled under this pressure in the past. But Indian skipper Sardar Singh who is...
New Delhi, January 25, 2013: Leading a team with multiple international stars could be a herculean task and many have crumbled under this pressure in the past. But Indian skipper Sardar Singh who is also the marquee player for Delhi and Brand Ambassador for Hero Hockey India League has not only excelled as a player in this inaugural edition but has also led the Delhi Waveriders to the top of the standings without losing a match at the half way stage.
The 26-year-old had a beaming smile on his face after the team’s training sessions at the Major Dhyan Chand National Hockey stadium here ahead of their match against Dabur Mumbai Magicians and the defensive midfielder played down the pressure of leading a star-studded outfit in the competition.
“As a rule we have open ended discussions in our team, gaining inputs from all our players and not just our international players. The youngest of our team members can correct me if something is wrong and we all take it in a positive spirit so there is nobody who is particularly authoritative in this team.
“As a captain it is my duty to understand and listen to the inputs given by all my teammates. All these players are well known many of them being Olympians, so their advice always adds value to the team,” he said, adding the informal atmosphere on and off the field has helped them gel together as a unit.
The Waveriders, who boast of players like Simon Child of New Zealand, Nicolas Jacobi and Oskar Deecke of Germany to name the few, are one of the most settled units of this League.
They are also the only team in the competition to have an all-Indian support staff and Sardara feels that their knowledge of the Indian conditions and the local players has been a major factor in their success so far.
“AK Bansal (head coach) has been part of the Hockey scene in India for eons and has so much of experience that his strategies and tactics make all the difference in our game,” he added.
Speaking about how the Indian players are benefitting by the presence of the international stars, Sardara said the Indians have a tendency to crack under pressure and they are learning how to handle difficult situations in the match.
“They guide us on how to play from a particular point on the field and move ahead. If the team is losing then how to play and if the team is winning then how we should manage the game. These small things always make a big difference for a team that is looking to win matches,” he added.
The national team captain also hailed the role of the Hero Hockey India league in bringing glamour of hockey back in the country and showcasing the Indian talent on the world stage.
“The response we have received has been superb. Almost all the stadiums are packed. This league has really put us on a global map and showcases the hockey talent that is prevalent in India,” he said.