Hockey

A performance which holds promise

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A young and inexperienced Tamil Nadu men’s team may be out of the MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament, but its performance has given a semblance of hope for a better future.

If the 2-2 draw with Air India which had several former India players was not enough, Tamil Nadu, on Thursday, stood up to BPCL, a team with three Rio Olympians and a host of Internationals, for the major part of the contest.

It finished the tournament with four points from four matches and their heads held high. The team did have its share of downsides —it didn’t have a penalty corner specialist and it showed. The team, perhaps, would have been served better had the selectors picked a handful of experienced players.

As the chief coach of team, M. Raja said: “We are happy and satisfied with our boys. There were lot of people who found fault with the selection. We have proved them wrong. Forwards Veera Thamizhan and Joshua Bendici Wesley were the pick of the lot.”

Mohd. Riaz, expert coach of the team, and the one who moulded the raw unit, exercised caution when he said: “first the structure should be in place, and we are in the process of doing it. There should be a pool of good players who should push the current lot. Nobody can take their place for granted.”

Now the onus is on the Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu to give exposure to the players. And ensure TN regain its lost glory.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 9:49:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/A-performance-which-holds-promise/article14628838.ece

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