The Telegraph
Saturday , January 25 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Sardar stays optimistic

New Delhi: India captain Sardar Singh is upset. The goals have dried up and hasn’t been in great form, of late. However, he is hoping to end his goal-scoring drought in the Hockey India League, starting in Mohali on Saturday.

From being the chief playmaker for India to leading the side, Sardar has tried to fulfill all roles to the best of his abilities till date but his inability of score goals every time he takes the turf continues to haunt the hardworking midfielder.

“It (lack of goals) always pains me. Whenever I go out to play an international match, I always think today I might score a goal… But it doesn’t happen that way. I really forgot when was the last time I scored a goal,” said Sardar, who will lead Delhi Waveriders against Punjab Warriors in the opening match of the HIL on Saturday.

But Sardar is not ready to throw in the towel yet.

“I am not someone who will give up hope. I am an optimistic person and I will keep on working hard on my game and hope to score goals very soon. I will try to break that jinx in this HIL,” he said.

“I will play more attacking hockey and try to help the forward line in attack and hope for a goal or two in the process,” added Sardar.

Under Sardar’s leadership and coach AK Bansal’s guidance, Delhi Waveriders had a fantastic outing in the inaugural HIL last year and finished runners-up after losing 1-2 to champions Ranchi Rhinos in the summit clash. But with a new coach on board in Cedric D’Souza and a couple of changes in the squad, Sardar sounded realistic about his side’s chances in the franchise-based event.

“It’s a new tournament. So obviously it’s a new beginning for us. Quite a few players have also changed in our side.

“The coaching staff has also changed. So you can say it’s a new day for us and we will have leave behind last year’s performance and start from scratch,” he said.