Former India coach Michael Nobbs, who was understandably disturbed to know of his ward Walmiki’s thoughts of quitting the game after national selectors preferred young uncapped players over him for the Asia Cup, called up Walmiki from Sydney.
Hang in there!
“Nobbs sir told me to hang in there. He said this is not the time to quit. He asked me to continue to focus on my fitness and skills so that I will be in contention for a place in the national team after the Asia Cup.
He also told me that I have to focus on doing well in the second edition of the franchise-based Hockey India League. “He said that if I do well there, I would compel the national selectors pick me. He said I should let my stick do the talking,” said Walmiki.
Walmiki blossomed under Nobbs to become one of the country’s sharpest forwards, before injury struck and he was left out of the national team. Thereafter, the national selectors lost faith in his ability and he hasn’t donned the India colours consistently.
Nobbs though felt the 22-year-old is still good enough to be among the country’s best. “Yuvraj is a very intelligent and talented young player, who, whenever given an opportunity, continues to do some very clever things, other players just cannot do,” Nobbs told MiD DAY from Australia.