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Showed character, but we disappointed

It has been a learning experience, an enriching one that I will never forget. After playing for the country for more than a decade, getting to lead in a major competition was an honour and I hope I have held up the dignity of the position. I may or may not continue to lead the side but this experience will be my most cherished one. Arjun Halappa writes.

india Updated: May 16, 2011 02:12 IST
Arjun Halappa

It has been a learning experience, an enriching one that I will never forget. After playing for the country for more than a decade, getting to lead in a major competition was an honour and I hope I have held up the dignity of the position. I may or may not continue to lead the side but this experience will be my most cherished one.

That apart, it was a disappointing outing for the team. I will be the first to accept that there were times when we did not play to our potential and paid the price. As the seniormost player in the side and as the captain, I cannot escape part of the blame.

It is no doubt disappointing that we could not finish off the campaign with a win. I had said earlier that it will be a test of character, and even though many will not agree with me, I personally believe this team has passed that test. Even though the result went against us, the fact that we played much better than the past two matches showed the desire in these youngsters. I had said it is difficult to be motivated when nothing's at stake but it is heartening to see the youngsters get into the spirit for today's match.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/16_05_11-metro-19.jpg

We played much better in the second half when we created more chances to score. We faltered in the execution and missed our chances. Unlike the last two games, there was urgency in the side and there was an attempt to go all out. That we couldn't make our chances count can be put down to inexperience.

Overall, the event has helped identify certain areas we need to work on. That was the main objective, along with the top-grade exposure it has given to the youngsters. This was a major tournament but we now need many more such high pressure games in the run up to the Olympic qualifiers. I am not sure what the team's next international assignment will be but I hope it is soon.

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