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Rajinder Column
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Anything can happen to any team any day (8/21/2003)
--Rajinder Singh
We have not played so poorly as we did against Australia on Tuesday, in a long, long time.

We made so many mistakes – and that too after making a decent start in the match. I think that except goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan all the other players had a poor game. Devesh denied the experienced Livermore in penalty stroke and also made some great saves in both the halves. He was simply wonderful.

But that was the only good thing I would like to remember of this match.

Forget team work, even individually, the players disappointed me. There was so much mispassing that the team never settled into a rhythm. And yes, we had decided to go all out on the attack, so it was necessary that we made the most of the chances.

With both the teams playing an open game, we should have scored through counter-attacks. I was worried about the recovery of the team. It was surprisingly very slow, even though we had had a rest day. The boys looked jaded and tired and that is a worrying thing for a coach.

When you play an attacking game, you want your players to be charged up. I still that josh bit it missing in the team.

By our sloppy play we allowed the Australians to get back into the groove. As I had said earlier, they were not playing hundred per cent, but we allowed them to settle down. And they outplayed us.

Probably, it was a one match thing. I would hope so and want the team to hit back with vigour in the remaining games. It is not over till the last game has been played.

I would also like to tell the readers back home that just because we have lost two matches does not mean that we are not a good side or that we are not trying. The team has improved a lot in the past one year. I think it is a better side now than it was a year ago in Cologne.

The boys are aware that two tournament wins have raised the expectations of the fans and they were feeling miserable last night. They knew that they had played poorly. But later, they were all charged up and want to do better.

I don’t want to give excuses but I will say that we must not put so much pressure on the players. Champions Trophy is a top level tournament were world’s best six play. We must not lose hope. If we win a match or two from here, Tuesday will remain just a bad memory.

Yes, we gifted the Aussies the match. Yes, there were mispasses, missed chances, poor defending. But tomorrow is another day and I have faith in the resilience of my team.

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