Sardar Singh: My heart will always beat for Team India

Dec 07, 2018, 12:45 IST | Ashwin Ferro

"Even if eight or nine players play with 80 or 90 per cent intensity, it will be good enough. Every player must realise that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he signed off

Sardar Singh: My heart will always beat for Team India
Ex-India captain Sardar Singh

Hockey veteran Sardar Singh may not be a part of the Indian team anymore, but that doesn't mean he isn't following its fortunes. The former India captain quit the game after he was not picked in the Indian team for the World Cup, but claims he's over that disappointment now.

"There's no point thinking about it. My heart will always beat for the Indian hockey team. Even when I'm 60, my hockey passion will be as high," Sardar told mid-day following an announcement of his association as an expert coach with healthcare firm GOQii. Speaking of the Indian team's performance at the World Cup so far, Sardar said they have done well and must carry the momentum into the knockout stages.

"Against Belgium, the team played the first two quarters poorly, but in the third and fourth quarters, they were brilliant. The use of long balls and attacking hockey is what sets this young Indian team apart. In the next [final league match] against Canada too they should not take it easy," he warned. In the knockout stage, World No. 5 India will clash with Europeans giants (No. 4) Netherlands or (No. 6) Germany — both hard nuts to crack.

Sardar, 32, had words of advice for Manpreet Singh & Co. "Belgium [No. 3] is one of the best teams in Europe at the moment and we held them 2-2. If this team can play an entire match with the same intensity with which they played the last two quarters against Belgium, we should be in a good position. "Even if eight or nine players play with 80 or 90 per cent intensity, it will be good enough. Every player must realise that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he signed off.

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