The Indian men’s team ended 2020 with their finest ever world rating of No. 4, however the final time they performed a world fixture was on February 22 final 12 months when Australia visited India for the FIH Pro League fixture in Bhubaneswar. Since then, the team has largely been in nationwide camps with a pair of breaks in between.
HI made an effort to get its groups again within the groove. As a consequence, the ladies’s team travelled to Argentina final month. But the lads have not been capable of hit the worldwide pitch because the pandemic struck.
That virtually means the men’s team will now solely resume with their rescheduled Pro League fixture away in Argentina on April 10-11.
“I thought Australia and New Zealand, where the disease was controlled, made more sense,” stated former Australia coach Charlesworth in a dialog with Timesofindia.com.
“With one quarantine period, they could have spent time in Australia and both nations would have benefitted.”
Attempts to get a response from HI on the present scenario remained futile.
(Ric Charlesworth had a stint with hockey in India because the technical director – TOI Photo)
THE ROAD AHEAD
When the International Hockey Federation (FIH) introduced new dates of the Pro League final July , India’s identify did not function within the re-labored calendar for 2020.
The match resumed on September 22 final 12 months, however India are scheduled to return solely in April this 12 months. At that point, Timesofindia.com had quizzed the FIH particularly about that.
In its reply, the FIH had stated: “India’s preference was to combine all three European away matches (ties) in a single trip without being away for too long.”
Charlesworth stated India could have checked out Oceania in that case.
“I believe teams needed to take every opportunity to play internationally over the last six months. Europe was probably too difficult because of the depth of the disease…hence my preference for Australia,” stated Charlesworth, who additionally performed first-class cricket for Western Australia within the Seventies.
(Indian gamers on the 2019 Hockey India Awards perform – HI Photo)
INDIA CAN HANDLE BIO-BUBBLES
After visiting Argentina in April, India will fly to the European continent for ties towards Great Britain (May 8-9), Spain (May 12-13) and Germany (May 18-19) earlier than returning house to host New Zealand (May 29-30).
Going by that schedule, Charlesworth was of the view that the Indian groups are higher outfitted to deal with bio-bubbles as a result of of their “camp life”.
“I think such bubbles are very difficult in the long term, yet India may handle it better as they are used to ‘camp-life’,” stated Charlesworth, who served as technical director for hockey in India earlier than his temporary affiliation ended in 2008.
“I think many months in isolation can lead to staleness, boredom, frustration and disillusionment. In Perth, the Australian players have been lucky to have ‘normal’ conditions. What they lacked is the travel and competition but within Perth, there has been no cover and therefore normal living conditions,” he additional instructed TimesofIndia.com.
India could be in that longish bio-bubble in May after they play eight Pro League matches in 23 days, between May 8 and May 30, in 4 totally different nations — three in Europe and one at house.
(The postponed Tokyo Olympic are scheduled for July-August this 12 months – Getty Images)
Does all of the above mixed make the Olympics in Tokyo a extra open subject? Charlesworth stated “may be”, whereas including that the cancellation of the Olympics shall be a giant blow to gamers’ ambitions.
“It (Olympics) may be more open and certainly new players will continue to emerge. I hope the players will get their opportunity in Tokyo. In my life, the greatest disappointment was the failure to compete in Moscow (1980),” the 69-12 months-outdated stated.
The rescheduled Olympics, if performed, shall be amid lots of Covid-19 restrictions, which, in response to Charlesworth, could develop into the distinction between the groups in Tokyo.
“It has been a difficult year for many reasons, but we will get through it and the team that navigates the difficulties best will probably succeed at the next big competition, be it the Olympics or the World Cup.”