Delhi Waveriders coasted to a 3-1 win over Punjab Warriors in the opening match of the Hockey India League at Chandigarh, benefitting from the skills of ‘home boy’ Talwinder Singh.
Talwinder Singh, who was born in Mithapur village in Jalandhar in 1994, scored and set up a goal in the comfortable win. The 20-year old scored in the 29th minute to give Delhi the lead and later assisted Jason Wilson, who scored twice, in the 47th and 68th minutes of the match. For Punjab, youngster Affan Yousuf scored the solitary goal.
Talwinder Singh, a posthumus child, was from a hockey family. Singh’s father Paramjit Singh, who died of a heart attack ten days before Talwinder’s birth, was a state-level hockey player. His Mithapur village is also famous for being the home town of many international players. Talwinder joined the Mithapur Hockey academy on the insistence of his two elder sisters, and later along with like Manpreet and Mandeep from his academy, form the core for the Indian junior team.
He was in the team for the 2009 Junior Asia Cup and played in the Sultan of Johor Cup for three consecutive years since 2011. He won the junior national title with Punjab in 2011 and immediately made the step up to the senior level, helping the Punjab senior side to the national title next year.
Having done that, the 20-year old hopes to make the next step up, becoming a regular with the senior national side, in coming year. For that, the Hockey India League will provide the ideal platform, even if it means coming up with a match-winning performance against the side from his home state.
With a packed schedule waiting for Indian senior team in the coming 12 months, the Jalandhar player is hopeful of cementing his place in the Indian senior team. “My father wanted to see one of us play for the Indian senior team. I did not see him alive but my biggest gift to him will be playing for the Indian team in the future. He played for Punjab for more than a decade and was very passionate about hockey,” shared Talwinder.
Delhi coach Cedric D’Souza too praised Talwinder’s play and was of the view that the Jalandhar lad can be the find of the tournament. “Talwinder has got a cool head on his shoulders and he has a good vision and often plans the moves in his head. He clears the ball very well and has control over the ball. If he shows consistency, he can be the find of the league for our team,” said D’Souza.