FIH Men's Champions Trophy 2016: Jagbir Singh feels sleeping giants have finally woken up
The country’s monumental silver medal performance at the 36th FIH Champions Trophy in London has got the entire nation excited – after all, it is India’s first medal in Champions Trophy in 38 years and their only second medal in the tournament’s 38-year history. Forget the silver medal, the manner India took the fight to the Kookaburras left everyone stunned.
Former India captain and two-time Olympian Jagbir Singh says the world’s sleeping giant have finally woken up. “India are a sleeping giant – if they wake up no team can stop them. Look how they competed against the world champion on Friday – this is a special moment for Indian hockey not just because they have won their first-ever silver medal in Champions Trophy but because their performance gives a feeling that the team is heading in the right direction and getting to where they want to reach,” he puts his perspective.
Jagbir, who is employed with Air India, believes there is immense self-belief in the Indian team. “A day before they played a sloppy game and lost to Australia 2-4 – it can happen as they are playing a side that has reached the semifinals and finals of major events for the last forty years but the way they fought in the final was remarkable. The world hockey must take note of the fact that India is a new giant emerging and all teams need to be wary about it,” he observes.
The former crafty centre-forward gave full marks to the Indian defence. “They did easily give away penalty corners but they prevented Australia from scoring in entire 60 minutes of play. Australia could not score from 9 short corners and even messed up one stroke which says a lot about our rapidly improving defence,” Jagbir gushes.
One hopes that India can build on this success and dish out another splendid performance in Rio.