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Home > Sports > News > PTI > Report

Team work key to success: Pillay

June 10, 2003 18:33 IST

Their confidence high after a successful Australian campaign, the Indian hockey team is now eyeing to break the Champions Trophy jinx, captain Dhanraj Pillay said in Bangalore on Tuesday.

"The tournament in Australia was a good start and we will try to keep the tempo for the Champions Trophy in August," a jubilant Pillay told reporters on arrival from Australia at the Bangalore airport.

Dhanraj PillayIndia have never won the prestigious Champions Trophy; last year too they had to be content with fourth place. Its best show in the tournament of elite nations is a third place.

Pillay said the current team is an experimental one, having been knit together keeping in view the Champions Trophy.

The mercurial striker, who was mobbed by hockey enthusiasts on arrival, said the team is now looking to build on its good performances in Australia and work harder, with the aim of winning the Champions Trophy as well as the Athens Olympics gold medal.

He said the team will assemble at Delhi on June 17 for a short-camp before proceeding for the Panasonic Cup in Germany on June 21. The tournament begins on June 27. The other two teams in the tournament are Argentina and Spain.

Pillay said team work was key to success in the double-leg Hockey Australia Men's Challenge in Australia, where it won the second leg and placed second in the first, but refused to single out any individual player for praise.

He, however, said Sandeep Michael's goal against Pakistan was "one of the best goals" he had ever seen. "It was hit from zero angle."

He added he had seen only Mukesh Kumar come up with such shots.

Pillay expressed displeasure over the red card shown to Baljit Singh Dhillon in India's match against Pakistan, saying it was the reason for India's failure to beat its arch-rival.

India were held to a 4-4 draw after leading 3-1 at one stage in the match.

The Indian hockey team on arrival in Delhi.

The Indian hockey team on arrival in Delhi.

Explaining the brief confrontation on the field, he said the matter was resolved after the two captains had a talk and decided to treat it as a non-issue.

"I don't know why Dhillon got the red card. I don't think he should have been given that," he said. "After Dhillon was shown the red card we could not keep our 3-1 lead and had to settle for a 4-4 draw."

Responding to a question, Pillay said India makes extra effort whenever they face Pakistan on the field.

"We play with an attitude that we can lose to any team, but not to Pakistan.

"Pakistan also has the same attitude against India.

"When we play Pakistan, we play with full heart. We have to give 200 per cent," Pillay said.

He said he is satisfied with the performance of the team in the double-leg tournament, where "penalty-corners helped us a lot".

Photograph: Ranjan Basu/Saab Press

© Copyright 2005 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

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Number of User Comments: 5

Sub: U too scored same!

Dear Dhanraj, I still remember the zero angle goal you scored against Pakisthan in 1989-90 in Africa.And one you scored off Mukesh's pass(second half) in ...

Posted by Shane Sadanand

Sub: indian victory

Good work Dhanraj.. I like the attitude and determination of the team and the way they played in this era of cricketization.. Congratulations once again.. ...

Posted by amol

Sub: That was great!!!

All the best.Keep up the tempo.

Posted by ehard

Sub: well done

gr8 victory guys just keep up the good work and claim the champions trophy may u do well in the future

Posted by pankaj

Sub: Well done

I watched India's last two matches (Pak and the Final) in Sydney. I had wathced them playing in Olympics 2000 too. Co-ordination of the present ...

Posted by Pradeep Upadhyay



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