Indian hockey has seen some greats like Dhyan Chand and KD Singh ‘Babu’ in its amazing history.
There was a time when the Indian hockey team was invincible. In the Los Angeles Olympics, India had defeated USA by 24-1. When the Berlin Olympics came, the world was seeing the rise of Hitler. In that milieu, the Hockey finals happened in Berlin between India and Germany.
Here is a video of how the Indian team played field hockey during the Golden age of Indian hockey!
This video is from the Berlin Olympics of 1936 when India defeated Germany in front of Hitler in the finals by an outstanding margin of 8-1! It was a humiliating defeat for the Germans, that too in front of Adolf Hitler!
The only reason there was no controversy was that Indians were considered Indo-Aryans by Hitler. heck, in fact, Hitler had even offered Dhyan Chand a post in the German army, which he smartly refused. What happened to the German army subsequently was for everyone to see.
In this video, while the obvious mastery at stick work will jump up at you, what also seems exceptional is how quick the ball was distributed out. The quick passes. Instead of over-dribbling all over the place! Which was quite a contrast to the latter years when hockey greats like Mohammad Shahid would hog the ball forever with their exceptional stick work. Great dribbler of the ball but not very effective for the team always.
And my you, here we are looking at Dhyan Chand and players like playing him playing here. Folks who knew a thing or two about dribbling the ball and how to tackle the players. The modern players are nowhere near them in terms of ball control and stick work, specifically the greats like Roop Singh and KD Singh Babu and Dhyan Chand! But how they hog the ball!
The kernel of players that this team had continued to play for India for 4 Olympics winning Golds.