FIH Hockey Champions Trophy 2016: Olympian Jagbir Singh impressed by PR Sreejesh's first outing as India captain
It was the first day in office as Indian captain for PR Sreejesh and the country’s ace goalkeeper seems to be at ease in his new role. The experienced shot-stopper was not only busy keeping the German forward line at bay, but also impressed in the way he got the best out of his boys as India drew 3-3 with the defending champions.
“Sreejesh has been a pillar of Indian defence for a long time now. The way he holds the defence together is laudable – and the responsibility of captaincy has seen him raising his game by a few more notches. Normally, he yells out instructions to him team-mates and as captain one could see the decibel levels only go up. I really like the way he shouts out instructions to his team-mates,” says former Indian captain and two-time Olympian Jagbir Singh.
The former India centre-forward was full of praise for the discipline shown by the defence. “I thought our defence weathered the German pressure quite well. Surinder Kumar and Harmanpreet Singh despite being young fared well.”
The Indian team have shown that there is a structure about the way the team plays irrespective of whether key or experienced players are rested or not.
“This is one thing I like about Roelant Oltmans – the way he rotates his players. He is willing to give opportunities to everyone be it a youngster or a seasoned player – if a player performs he gets an extended run and if he does not, he is replaced by somebody else,” he observes.
Jagbir feels big players will always have their role in the side. “Look at guys like Jamie Dwyer or Barry Middleton, they have so much ability that they will lend value to a side. As far as India is concerned, I feel that our experienced guys will always add value to the side. It’s the performance of the player that will take him to Rio Olympics and not their name.”