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A weapon that blunted the likes of Shakeel Abbasis (1/9/2011)
--Shashank Gupta
BHARAT CHHIKARA: A new weapon that blunts the likes of Shakeel Abbasis

His father put him in hockey, for his mom it doesn’t matter whether he wins or loses; she is particular her son takes food timely at least when he is at home. This player is ready to learn from anyone he admires and fall in love with; be it Jamie Dwyer, Sachin Tendulkar, Lionel Messi or Lance Armstrong. He also understands the value of both education and communication skills that led him do MBA despite being busy on the turf round the year. He is also a facebook freak.

undefined Any guesses who are we talking about?

You may have got it right; we are talking about Bharat Chhikara, one of the star all rounders of current Indian team.

s2h catches up with Bharat Chhikara who is here in Bangalore to play in the Super Division League

Having spent his turf days as a full-pledged forward, it took him by surprise when the Spanish Coach Jose Brasa asked him to fall back in the defence. The coach’s reason: he is the fittest of all. Bharat for a while felt that there are fitter players than him in the team but the coach had foreseen his ability to turn more of lateral movements on the turf. Bharat Chhikara believed in himself, willingly wore the new role, and the rest is history – a new chapter in his career. This summarizes how a forward turned out to be a reliable defender which he is nowadays.

He is spontaneous in admitting that he has made silly mistakes in the defence but hastens to add that he didn’t let the dreaded Pakistani forward Shakeel Abbasi past him even once. This carried lot of merit as India defeated Pakistan all the time in the year gone by, one of the reasons is blunting the likes of sharp shooters such as Shakeel.

Like most of his team mates, Bharat too has good words for Chief Coach Jose Brasa. He lets us know the coach was more of a friend to all of them and knew very well how to connect to the players. This made the players feel free like never before.

“I learnt a lot last year. It makes 2010 my most memorable year of my career”, Chhikara says .

He feels necessity of psychologist to standing up against the Australian team without bogged down by the formidable image that the rival carries with them. “A psychologist can help the Indian team”, he asserts.

“After conceding goals we have to maintain composure. This is another arena we have to do much”, he confesses. undefined

Bharat regrets the loss to Malaysia in the Asian Games and calls it an extremely unfortunate event. However, he does admit that the team’s morale is high even now as ‘ we have learnt new techniques from the past coach’.

Bharat keeps in touch with his friends and fans from across the globe through Facebook. He doesn’t even mind saying a casual hello to beautiful looking face there. Back in the village he doesn’t access internet much but on tours facebook is a good recreational activity for him. At times, he does check what’s new on Jamie Dwyer’s page.

With an infectious smile Bharat shares that people recognize him now because of the various tournaments that took place in India recently. On the other hand, he finds it awkward when posed with questions pertaining to murky political fight at the national level. This, according to him, is a sure downer for the game.

World Series Hockey is something he feels will do wonders to already declining Hockey in the country. He envisions Hockey penetration and uninitiated public attention through WSH. He just hopes that idea crystallizes into something concrete. undefined

The Post Graduate student of Manipal University’s words for the juniors: The junior players can learn just by seeing what senior players are doing.

Looking up to Dilip Tirkey and Teun de Nooijer as his role models, Bharat wears a wrist band as a reminder of promises to himself – promise of excelling, promise of deriving inspiration from people who challenge their limits like Lance Armstrong and the promise that he should learn anything from anyone.

Bharat goes back to his elder brother in good and bad times, who has been a source of strength to him. He doesn’t know much about a new coach to the team now, but strongly feels that if the already built-up momentum is carried forward, sky is the limit for Indian Hockey.

On a signing off note, Bharat’s belief in Indian team’s capability is unquestionable. His argument: “If we can beat England, England can beat Australia, we can also beat Australia!”

Chhikara style defence, one can conclude.

Top: Bharat tackles his hero Jaime Dwyer successfully
Middle: In the thick of action during the CWG final

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Bharat Chikara
by Ajay Kumar Bansal on 1/17/2011 10:42:32 AM
So many good and top skilled players are in India, besides above all the best quality of Bharat is that he is a very simple, low profile and good human being. Good Luck Bharat
Simply Bharat
by Swati Sharma on 1/10/2011 10:41:52 PM
"Fighting the odds and heading constantly towards excellence" is what i feel can describe Bharat as a player and as a person too. Possessed with great talent and skills of playing under all circumstances and at any position has already taken Indian Hockey much ahead at international level and wish him all the best for future too..
about Bharat
by mussolini chhikara on 1/10/2011 9:38:10 PM
i saw him playing like a good defender in the very first match against Pakistan in the world cup. he can adjust easily

by Amod Bhave on 1/10/2011 9:46:11 PM
Behold the supremely talented, brave, smart, new face of Indian Hockey!!!!.....we have seen him play even in the tightest of situations and can see the difference it has brought to the team's performance in the recent matches......kudos to Mr.Brasa for this discovery!!!