Biography of Hockey Wizard Dhyan Chand
By Niket Bhushan, Wiley Eastern Ltd., 1992
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|As the ground was slippery due to
the rain, Dhyan Chand discarded his spiked shoes and played with his bare
legs and rubber soles.
It was the incredible stickwork of Dhyan Chand that had the crowd gasping. It was as if the ball was stuck to his hockey stick.
A newspaper described Dhyan Chand's game as "a flick of the wrist, a glance of his eyes, a sharp turn and Dhyan Chand was through."
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he whistle blew for the start of the game. The crowd roared as Germany adopted India's game and took to short passing. The sun had come out and the ground soon dried out, though the turf was still very soft.
Packed with thrilling incidents, the final had the vast crowd at the edge of their seats. The Germans undercut and lifted the ball in a game played at a very fast pace. Twice India's Dara tried to score but was off-side on both occasions. Germany had been successful at stopping the Indian forwards and it was becoming very difficult for the Indians to score.
It was clear that the first goal scored would be important. In the 32nd minute, Roop Singh scored from a difficult angle after getting a pass from Jafar. This was the only goal India scored till half-time.
During the break, Dhyan Chand huddled his team together and congratulated them on their play so far. He cautioned them that the one goal lead was very small, and that Germany could equalise anytime.
The Indian team got into their rhythm in the second half. Dhyan Chand scored in the opening minutes of the half. India then scored a barrage of goals - four in five minutes to seal the fate of the match.
Roop Singh had an interesting observation on this stage of the match, "Dhyan Chand, a supremely unselfish artist who never held on to the ball for even a second more than necessary, was seen in a rare selfish mode. He shouted to us - direct all passes to me, I will take care from there on."
As the ground was still slippery due to the rain, Dhyan Chand discarded his spiked shoes and stockings and played with his bare feet and rubber soles. It was the incredible stickwork of Dhyan Chand that had the crowd gasping. The way he moved with the ball, as if it was stuck to his hockey stick, puzzled all those who were present.
A newspaper described Dhyan Chand's game as "a flick of the wrist, a quick glance of his eyes, a sharp turn and then another turn, and Dhyan Chand was through."
After India had scored four goals, Germany finally opened its account off a rebound from goalkeeper Richard Allen. This was the first goal conceded by India in the Olympic tournament. It would be the only goal they would concede.
After the sixth goal scored by India, the Germans decided to go after the Indian captain. The German players started to play aggressively and go for rough tackles on Dhyan Chand. The German goalkeeper even broke one of Dhyan Chand's teeth in a clash.
After receiving first aid, Dhyan Chand came back to the field and instructed his team not to score any more goals. "We must teach them a lesson in ball control," he told his team.
The Indian team would take the ball to the German 'D', then back pass among themselves, then take it again to the goalmouth but not score. This strategy baffled the Germans. Dara and Dhyan Chand rounded off the tally in the last few minutes of the game to make the final score India 8 - Germany 1.
The goal scorers had been Roop Singh, Tapsell and Jafar with one each, Dara with two and skipper Dhyan Chand with three. Dara and Dhyan Chand had combined well, and proved to be the duo that undid the Germans.
After the final, as the Indian players were rejoicing at the victory, Dhyan Chand appeared a little sad. On being asked the reason, he said that if this victory had come under the Indian flag, he would have been all the more pleased. More than a decade later, he relished the fact that India became independent on the historic day of August 15, 1947.
Classic shot of Hockey Wizard Dhyan Chand scoring a goal in the 1936 Olympic hockey final