Mumbai, New Delhi : Christopher Zeller scored with a minute on the clock to give Germany a 3-2 win over India in the hockey World Cup on Wednesday. That, after India had done well to come back twice, despite trailing by a goal. Former captain M M Somaya believes the problem lies more in the mind. India's unwillingness to employ a foreign coach or specialized support staff in the form of a psychologist or spiritual trainer is beginning to hurt the team badly. "We don't fall short in any respect whether it's stamina or strategy. We played so well yesterday," said M M Somaya, former Indian Hockey Captain. "When they're faced with such situations in crunch matches, the team suddenly tends to cave in. So one is to simulate such things in practice, and the second is I feel genuinely a psychologist should be with the team, a person of the standing of say a Sandy Gordon, who's really top of the class," he added. Team strategy The match of the 2003 Champions Trophy best sums up the way the team has capitulated in the dying minutes. India were leading Holland 3-0 with less than ten minutes to go. Incredibly the Dutch staged a remarkable comeback to win 4-3. Somaya feels that if a psychologist was to be made available right from the grassroots-level, such scenarios would be pre-empted. "I feel from a young age we are not used to this kind of specialized training. We are only used to a trainer who makes you run around the ground," said M M Somaya, former Indian Hockey Captain. "So the players are not used to this kind of training. One is where a person is working only on team strategy and tactics, the second, a psychologist. Now unless you expose a person to these two aspects at a young age, then once he comes into the national team, thrusting something on him is going to be very difficult," he added. Meanwhile the last minute madness continues to be a major jinx for India. Poland drew with India with two minutes left to deprive India the chance of a medal at the Sydney Olympics. If only the IHF would take a cue from the BCCI, India's chances of a medal from major tournaments wouldn't be choked quite literally.
Topics : Hockey