New Delhi: With just about three months left for the Olympics to begin, the composition of the Indian hockey team is still under doubt. That the Indian team was missing its senior, more experienced players was evident at the recently concluded four nations event in Australia, where India finished at the bottom of the table. But the Indian Hockey Federation doesn't seem to have taken that lesson to heart. While the rest of the world gets into overdrive with their preparations for the Olympics, the Indian hockey team is going through a process of rebuilding and change, something that has hockey experts baffled. "We still don't know who the final 16 or 18 players are going to be. The more this selection is delayed, the more it will adversely affect the team," said former hockey captain Harbinder Singh. Most former hockey players agree that modern hockey does not require each player to dominate the game for the whole 70 minutes. And so keeping Dhanraj Pillay or Baljeet Singh Dhillon off the field for big matches, citing poor fitness, could be a costly mistake. But the hockey federation has its own logic. "There is no doubt that we don't have players of the experience of Pillay and Dhillon. Dhillon is a very good playmaker, he has good ball control and distribution skills. If he is used as a playmaker in the mid field and if Dhanraj is used as a striker in the forward line, then there will be a good balance in the team," said former hockey player Brigadier HJS Chimney. Not only have Dhanraj Pillay and Baljeet Singh Dhillon been excluded from the conditioning camp for Athens, they haven't even been given a chance to prove their fitness. So, however well prepared the team might be, with all the controversy that surrounds them, it might be futile to expect a good result from Indian hockey at the Athens Olympics.
Topics : Hockey