Six Nations Invitational 2016: Inconsistency returns to haunt Indian men hockey team
It’s never easy to stay consistent for a ‘consistent period of time – any team will find it exceedingly challenging – that’s something the Indian senior men’s hockey team will look to focus on in the run-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Blueshirts have turned in memorable performances in recent years, coupled with some forgettable ones.
The FIH Champions Trophy saw the Indian team show a fair amount of consistency as they really pulled their weight against Olympic champions Germany, hosts Great Britain and against world champions Australia in the final. Just when it looked as if the team was really making the right noises ahead of the Olympics, their performance in the Six Nation Invitational Event in Spain brought to the fore their lack of consistency.
India never looked the side that drew Germany 3-3 in the Champions Trophy as they went down to them tamely 0-4 – they pipped Ireland by the skin of their teeth – 2-1 – lost to New Zealand 0-1 before settling for 3-3 and 1-1 draws against Argentina and hosts Spain.
One is not trying to be harsh on our national team – a side that have so much flair – must find a way out to stay consistent, which is the hallmark of a top team. Australia are a prime example as they regularly win matches though they do have their off days on the pitch as well.
The question that needs to be asked is what stops India from playing in the same intensity in each game irrespective of whether we win or lose. One understands that the team management was trying to tinker a bit to know what kind of combination they want to take to Rio.
This team is high on fitness and have all the skills needed to outsmart any opponent. But from time to time why they keep pressing the inconsistent button can be best answered by the players and coaching staff themselves. We are not expecting our team to win every game but only concerned that why the same intensity cannot be maintained in each game.
One hopes that India will get its house in order and make the big noises in Rio.