Asia cup win just an appetiser

As always, the Indian team’s Asia Cup win is being eulogised everywhere and has been heralded as a new era under Dutch coach Sjoerd Marijne, who replaced Roelant Oltmans under acrimonious circumstances in September.

Published: 24th October 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th October 2017 12:35 AM   |  A+A-

As always, the Indian team’s Asia Cup win is being eulogised everywhere and has been heralded as a new era under Dutch coach Sjoerd Marijne, who replaced Roelant Oltmans under acrimonious circumstances in September. Marijne is definitely not a fool to just lie back and hope for stronger ties with Indian hockey on this win alone. If he is a practical man, he must have by now realised how fragile the ties with Hockey India are, especially for a foreign coach. India has won the title after a decade, so it will attract effusive praise. But we should not go overboard.

With the standard of hockey declining in the rest of the continent, India’s win was very much expected. It would have been a huge embarrassment if the World No. 6 had not won the title. That India is the only team from Asia to be in the top 10 shows how others are faring. In isolation, the win will do little to enhance Marijne’s credentials. This win is just an appetiser.

The World League Final in December will test Marijne’s tactical mantle. Another issue HI had with Oltmans was his inability to nurture young talent. This time three youngsters from the Junior World Cup team—Dipsan Tirkey, Harmanpreet Singh and Gurjant Singh—stood out. The core of the team has been established. Now the coach needs to reinforce the areas that are frail and vulnerable. Defence has been an issue. In Dhaka, it was not tested much but it did show some improvement.

However, against faster counter-attacking teams of Europe, this will be tested. How Marijne sets up his team to tackle the might of Australia, Germany and the rest will also be watched with interest. Oltmans was handed the pink slip because of the team’s inability to do well against the ‘superpowers’. If his compatriot also returns middling results against the crème de la crème, this win will be forgotten quickly. However, if he can use the title as a building block for the next 12 months—culminating with the World Cup next December—India may have turned a corner.

Stay up to date on all the latest Editorials news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp