Indian hockey

‘Sardar wasn’t convincing enough, Ramandeep needs to improve’: Coach Sjoerd Marijne

Sardar and Ramandeep were excluded from the Indian men’s hockey squad for the Commonwealth Games.

Bengaluru: Among the notable exclusions from the Indian men’s hockey squad for the Commonwealth Games (CWG) announced on Tuesday were Sardar Singh and Ramandeep Singh.

Sardar, skippering India in their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup campaign, didn’t score in the tournament and despite flashes of brilliance, failed to inspire a young team that finished fifth among the six nations.

On the other hand Ramandeep, in the forward line, scored four goals – including two against champions Australia, assisted twice and injected the ball for his fellow young attackers.

So, it was his exclusion from the CWG squad, rather than the struggling Sardar’s, that came as a surprise.

Coach Sjoerd Marijne was present at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to shed some light on the topic. “Raman is a good player. He played well in New Zealand and Azlan Shah. But we still want him to improve,” he said.

“We picked other players who also did very well. Dilpreet (Singh) scored a lot of goals in the New Zealand tour, he learns quickly. In defense and attack, he’s spectacular. We have Akashdeep (Singh) also in that position. We compared with them. And at the moment we chose them because they have good speed.”

Sardar, the coach said, didn’t convince him enough. “It’s not only in Azlan Shah but also in Asia Cup. We also saw him in the training,” he said. “We pick midfielders who can also score. That’s what you saw in New Zealand. There’s diversity to the players we picked and that’s why we picked them for that position.”

Marijne also revealed that he’d stop tweaking the squad for the Asian Games in August and the Hockey World Cup in November. A 48-player group will split evenly into a main squad and a developmental squad. Another six players will be added to the 18-member squad that will travel to Australia to take part in the CWG in Gold Coast.

Here are excerpts from his interaction with the media:-

On India’s opponents in CWG

We’d want to focus on ourselves. Teams like Pakistan, England… it doesn’t matter. It’s about our own performance. Our key points, we have to do them good. The more we are busy with ourselves, the less pressure we feel. Of course, you have to show some clips from other countries, you have to know what they are doing.

On facing Pakistan

We train hard, we prepare well and be ready for the first match against Pakistan. I know (Roelant) Oltmans is there, he knows a few things about India but a few things changed in the last few months. It will be a really good challenge.

On India’s Azlan Shah performance

I think we did really well. Only the results were not always good. If you saw our matches against Argentina and Australia, you’d know how close we were. And, we drew against England, who played with their best side. The only match that was disappointing was the match against Ireland – and that happens with an inexperienced squad. They played a high-level game against Malaysia, who were also with the full squad. Of course, we wanted to end higher. But we did really well. And, a lot of players have some experience at the international level. They are the future for India – and that’s important. We need the depth.

On takeaways from experimenting with squad

That we have a lot of players who have played international hockey. That’s really good. The future for India is looking bright. With different teams every time there was good leadership. With different groups, they had to adjust, they didn’t know which position they were going to play in, if they were going to be in the next tournament. So, mentally it was tough for them. And, that’s what we also want to create because in big matches we need mental strength.

On Sreejesh’s comeback

Of course, it’s important that he’s back. He’s an experienced player. Also good is Suraj Karkera, who did an amazing job against Malaysia. We have two good goalkeepers.

On the constant change in Hockey World Cup format

I am not too bothered by that. If that’s the way they want it, we’ll do it like that. That’s fine with us. We will be busy with things we can control.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Some of the most significant innovations in automotive history made their debut in this iconic automobile

The latest version features India's first BS VI norms-compliant engine and a host of 'intelligent' features.

The S-Class, also known as Sonderklasse or special class, represents Mercedes Benz’ top-of-the-line sedan line up. Over the decades, this line of luxury vehicles has brought significant automotive technologies to the mainstream, with several firsts to its credit and has often been called the best car in the world. It’s in the S-Class that the first electronic ESP and ABS anti-lock braking system made their debut in the 20th century.

Twenty first-century driver assistance technologies which predict driver-behaviour and the vehicle’s course in order to take preventive safety measures are also now a staple of the S-Class. In the latest 2018 S-Class, the S 350 d, a 360-degree network of cameras, radars and other sensors communicate with each other for an ‘intelligent’ driving experience.

The new S-Class systems are built on Mercedes Benz’s cutting-edge radar-based driving assistance features, and also make use of map and navigation data to calculate driving behaviour. In cities and on other crowded roads, the Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC helps maintain the distance between car and the vehicle in front during speeds of up to 210 kmph. In the same speed range, Active Steering Assist helps the driver stay in the centre of the lane on stretches of straight road and on slight bends. Blind Spot Assist, meanwhile, makes up for human limitations by indicating vehicles present in the blind spot during a lane change. The new S-Class also communicates with other cars equipped with the Car-to-X communication system about dicey road conditions and low visibility due to fog, rain, accidents etc. en route.

The new S-Class can even automatically engage the emergency system when the driver is unable to raise an alarm. Active Emergency Stop Assist brings the car to a stop if it detects sustained periods of inactivity from the driver when Active Steering Assist is switched on. If the driver doesn’t respond to repeated visual and audible prompts, it automatically activates the emergency call system and unlocks the car to provide access to first responders.

The new Mercedes-Benz S 350 d in India features another notable innovation – the country’s first BS VI norms-compliant car engine, in accordance with government regulations to control vehicular pollution. Debuting two years before the BS VI deadline of 2020, the S 350 d engine also remains compatible with the current BS IV fuels.

The S 350 d is an intelligent car made in India, for Indian roads - in the Mercedes Benz S-Class tradition. See the video below to know what drives the S-Class series by Mercedes Benz.

To know more about the 2018 S-Class, click here.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Mercedes Benz and not by the Scroll editorial team.