Hockey World Cup 2018: Harendra Singh under scanner again

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first_imgAfter the debacle at the Asian Games, where India lost to Malaysia in the semi-finals, Hockey India decided not to act harsh and gave coach Harendra Singh time till the World Cup.On Thursday, when the team lost 1-2 in the quarter-finals to Holland in Bhubaneswar, it reminded one of how much more needs to be done. Having missed direct qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the pressure is on India to make the cut through qualifiers in 2019.Based on the performance in the FIH World Cup, there was nothing too exciting. A draw with Belgium and defeating South Africa and Canada may have looked nice but the big test was to get past the quarter-final stage.Agreed, in terms of fitness and speed the talented Indian side has made huge improvement. The problem areas pertain to lack of ideas when one plan fails and the second plan doesn’t seem to exist. That happened against Holland.And this is where the role of the coach comes under the scanner. Mail Today has learnt Harendra Singh’s coaching limitations have come to the fore. At least, this is how the national federation views it. What steps they take from here onwards will be interesting to watch.The grapevine says continuing solely with Harendra after this may be unlikely and the need for a foreign coach is pronounced. Then again, after the loss to Holland, Harendra’s outburst against the umpiring was unwarranted. These days, when umpires are under the scanner in a big way, “bad umpiring” is something that is very difficult to prove.advertisementThe Indian coach’s comments have ruffled the elite umpires and their manager in Bhubaneswar and how they deal with it will be known in the coming days.After the Asian Games, Hockey India was not inclined to changing the coaching staff as time was short. This time around, it’s very likely applications will be invited from abroad as well and the screening process will be speeded up.In Bhubaneshwar, Harendra was given full command. There was no interference and high-performance director David John stayed put in the Capital as he had “work to attend.”The days after the World Cup final will be interesting as Hockey India is concerned that in the qualification process for the Tokyo Olympics, there can be no glitch. “Personal egos will have to be left aside and the best coach has to be handed over the men’s team,” is now the feeling.Also See:last_img

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