Though he made it to the Indian hockey team recently, Dhananjay Mahadik is not a starry-eyed debutant. A player who has excelled at the domestic level for years, Mahadik was ignored for many years before Jose Brasa picked the utility player last year. Mahadik is one of the fullbacks in the team and also the third drag flicker at the Hero Honda FIH World Cup starting in New Delhi on Sunday.
Mahadik is a fan of Brasa’s training methods and said his special drills have brought a sea change in the team’s attitude.
“We had a drill in which a player would have to sit out if he made more than 3-4 touches. We went through this drill so many times that now we release the ball after only 2-3 touches,” Mahadik said.
The seasoned soldier however said the players have to change their mentality if they have to imbibe the good points of modern hockey. “Some change has come but we need more’”
Talking about their drag flick practice, Mahadik said Brasa got them to first practice with heavier balls (200 gms) and then with lighter ones (100g).
“That improved the speed of the flicks. He got these balls specially from Spain for us and this training technique has helped us a lot.”
Traffic concern for Black Sticks Christchurch: Delhi’s chaotic traffic is now a bigger concern for New Zealand’s hockey team.
“The hotel itself has tremendous security, so the players are very much at ease,” New Zealand team manager Kevin Marr was quoted as saying by New Zealand Press Association.
“We’ve only been to the grounds once, and there was certainly very evident security there. Indian traffic being what it is, it’s proving quite difficult for them to create a little bit of an exclusion zone around the vehicles themselves,” he said.