Cricket being the most celebrated sport in India, we have forgotten the great achievements in hockey which will overshadow the cricketing wins of India. At the 1975 world cup Olympics India won 8 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals and at the Asian Games, we won 3 Gold, 9 Silver and 3 Bronze medals.
Top 10 Indian Hockey Players
We won our first Olympic gold in 1928 and that is when the era of hockey had its true moment. For the next 5 decades Indians dominated the international circuit. Our performance has taken a hit in the last few years, but we remain amongst the top teams in the world.
These success stories are being told because of some remarkable players over decades. Let’s have a look at the 10 greatest hockey players who made the world mesmerized by their skills.
1 Dhyan Chand
He is one of the greatest hockey players of all time and had everybody’s jaw drop when he came into the scene. He scored 14 goals during the 1928 Olympics and helped India win its first Gold medal and crafted his way to be one of the best hockey players the world has ever seen. With over 400 goals in his entire career, he left a legacy which isn’t easy to match.
2 Roop Singh
Roop Singh was the brother of legendary Dhyan Chand and he was a brilliant player too, he did not make the headlines as much as his brother but scored goals In a quieter fashion. In 1932 he outscored even Dhyan Chand with a score streak of 13 goals in two games. In the finals against USA he single-handedly scored 10 goals. He played a major role in winning the gold in 1936 Olympics in berlin.
3 Balbir Singh Sr.
Post-independence, Balbir Singh joined the hockey scene and was a key figure in bagging consecutive gold medals in year 1948, 1952 and 1956. He is one of the best Centre-forwards that hockey has ever seen. Balbir was the chief coach and manager of the Indian Hockey team for the 1974 Men’s Hockey triumph of the world cup.
4 Udham Singh
Udham Singh had the ability to play as the inside forward and still manage being the solid rear-guard. He played with finesse and fluency. People loved watching him play and dominated the 50s.
5 Leslie Claudius
Along with Udham Singh, he has won the most Olympic medals for India. Claudius was full of energy and a leader on the pitch. Leslie Claudius won 3 Gold and 1 silver Olympic medals.
6 Ajit Pal Singh
He is recognized as the most extraordinary Centre half players in the world, the former captain of Indian Hockey team played an important role in winning the world cup of 1975. He represented India in 3 Olympics.
7 K D Singh Babu
Commonly known as Babu, Kunwar Digvijay Singh was considered as one of the best Inside Rights that the Indian team had ever witnessed. He won gold medals in two Olympics, 1948 and 1952. He also has a Padma shri which was given to him in 1960.
8 Shankar Lakshman
The goalkeeper for India in three Olympics, 1956, 1960 and 1964, out of which we won two gold medals and one silver medal. He as well was awarded the Padma Shri and the Arjuna Award by the Indian Government.
9 Dhanraj Pillay
He was the captain of the Indian Hockey team for a few years and is a modern-day legend known to Hockey. His Fast footwork and the precision with which he took goals were a feast to watch. India won the 1998 Asian Games and 2003 Asian cup under his captaincy.
10 Mohammed Shahid
Shahid was considered as a very good dribblers in the game of Hockey. He was a part of the team which won gold at the 1980 Olympic which was held in Moscow.