Today’s game is laptop hockey: Dhanraj Pillay
Former India captain Dhanraj Pillay believes the Indian hockey team is at par with the world’s premier outfits in terms of speed in this age of ‘laptop hockey’.Updated: Nov 27, 2018 08:37 IST
India may not have beaten Australia in the three games they played this year against the world No.1 team, but they have given them tough competition in each of those contests.
The Harendra Singh-coached team stretched the reigning world champions to penalty shootout in Champions Trophy final on July 1.
Former India captain Dhanraj Pillay believes the Indian hockey team is at par with the world’s premier outfits in terms of speed in this age of ‘laptop hockey’.
“Hockey has changed a lot. What we played was based more on skills. But today’s hockey is not like that. You cannot match the speed of today’s Indian players with what we had. If you see fitness levels, in the last three to four years, our team has been giving competition to Australia,” said the four-time Olympian, who retired in 2004.
“When I was playing, whenever we beat Australia, we beat them on skill. But hockey now is so fast. During my time, only Australia, Germany and Netherlands played with this kind of speed. But today Belgium, Argentina, India – the world’s six best teams are improving their stamina.”
Pillay feels today’s hockey, unlike his time, is also based more on machines and laptops.
However, the 50-year-old is not sure whether it will benefit teams in the future.
“A lot of new equipment has come in. I have seen these young players use chips to see how many kilometres they have run. All this was not there during my time. Today’s game is more machine-based, it is laptop hockey,” said Pillay, who led India to the 1998 Asian Games gold in Bangkok.
“We are adopting this quickly but how far will this take us, or how successful it’ll be for us, I cannot say because you know in our country hockey players are not that educated.”
First Published: Nov 27, 2018 08:37 IST