FLASH IN THE PAN OR AN ABERRATION?
It was the same old story, the same old failings and the same old result-a defeat after raising the expectations to very high levels, in fact, leaving some to dream about the glory days of long gone by decades.
The hockey team that suddenly became the focus for all the right reasons after the stunning victory over Pakistan, was stopped in its tracks by the team from down under.The stronger physique of the rival coupled with a stronger strategy was too hot to handle for team India.
This match between India and Australia grabbed the headlines in the manner that has been given to cricket matches between these two nations since 2001.This was a proud moment since hockey became as fashionable as cricket.Over the years, hockey matches between India and Australia were considered one-sided and there was very little hope for the fans.But now after the win over Pakistan, things appeared rosy, to say the least.
Team India could do no wrong in its match against Pakistan, while nothing seemed to go right in its encounter with Australia.Penalty corners, never a strong point with the Indians, proved to be very costly and decisive against Australia.Three penalty corners were squandered away and that made the difference to the final scoreline.
It is argued by some that the suspension of Shivendra for foulplay after the first match was the reason for the defeat to Australia.But the other members of team India could not raise their play seemingly exhausted after the effort against Pakistan.
The World Cup is not over by any means, but after this defeat, one is discouraged to look ahead to the rest of the matches.
It is either a case of a flash in the pan(the win over Pakistan) or just an aberration(the defeat to Australia).