CHENNAI: There was a time when Prabhjot Singh was getting it all wrong, his shooting, his positioning, his trapping and passing.
The Punjabi striker, with over 170 internationals, was dropped from the Indian team after a disastrous showing in the Champions Trophy, 2005 here. The comeback stage — the Asia Cup — couldn’t have been any better.
The striker is at his vintage best, attacking and finding the target at ease. So far he has scored eight goals in the championship and most of them were exemplary, with the stunning reverse hit from the top of the circle that turned out to be the match-winner in the crucial tie against South Korea standing out.
Even when he was out of the National team for a year, Prabhjot did not allow it to distract his focus and he performed consistently in the domestic tournaments.
He talked to coaches and friends, and made every effort possible to work on his game and fitness. The Nehru Cup, the Ranjit Singh tournament and other events sharpened his skills.
The arrival of Joaquim Carvalho early this year as the National coach saw Prabhjot returning to the squad. “I am thankful to Carvalho Sir,” Prabhjot said. The fact that both are from Indian Oil Corporation helped him improve further. Carvalho has been strict and fair to the players. “Perform or perish” has been his mantra.
Prabhjot understands that he still has a long way to go and knows how tough India’s passage to the Beijing Olympics will be. So when asked about his ambition, he quipped, “Olympic qualifier.”