The Indian Hockey Federation dropped a bombshell on Thursday when it axed four prominent players from the team for the upcoming series against Pakistan and Commonwealth Games in March.
In leaving out Gagan Ajit Singh, Viren Rasquinha, Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh, the IHF has sacrificed experience for youth and gone for the untested. All the aforesaid players were members of India's Junior World Cup-winning team in 2001 and have since been the driving forces of the team's campaigns in international competitions.
Even if the IHF has used the players' performances in the just-concluded Premier Hockey League as a yardstick for selection, one can't understand the rationale behind dropping these four prominent players and picking those with hardly any international experience.
Question is: are those selected the best to represent the country? Is the IHF right in dropping the abovementioned stalwarts?