After Major Dhyanchand, the hockey artist who carried on his tradition was Balbir Singh Dosanjh. It is also a happy coincidence that Balbir Dosanjh was the eldest of the four Balbir for the Indian hockey team. Balbir Singh Sr. was a successful Olympian as well as a successful hockey coach and manager.
Like Dhyanchand on the field, he believed in playing clean hockey. Like Dhyanchand, he used to give such an answer to his opponent on the field with his skill that he also used to praise him. Balbir Sr., like Dhyanchand, gave India gold medals in hockey in three consecutive Olympics. Dhyanchand scored 39 goals in 12 matches in three Olympics. Balbir Singh scored 22 goals in 8 matches of the three Olympics.
Incidentally, both of them also played in the Indian team as a center forward. Both brought India their third consecutive Olympic gold medal as captain. Dhyanchand played a key role in winning the title for the third time to India at the Berlin Olympics in 1936 at the age of 31, while Balbir did it in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
The comparison between the two giants is non-valid.
Some people make the mistake of comparing them to the heroes of the golden era of Indian hockey. It is not valid. There is no scope for debate that Dhyanchand is synonymous with hockey in the world. Even today in the world Indian hockey is discussed as the hockey country of Dhyanchand. Dhyanchand is synonymous with hockey in the world in the same way as Don Bradman in cricket and Pelé in football.
In such a situation, if anyone compares Dhyanchand's hockey to Balbir Singh Sahab or any other person, it will be considered unwarranted. The fact is that Dhyanchand was the champion of Indian hockey before independence, while Balbir Singh Sr. Sahab Azad was India's hockey captain.
Learned hockey after watching Dadda
Balbir Singh Sr., when he was 12 years old, saw Dhyanchand's game for the first time in the New Zealand Hockey Final at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Then Balbir Saheb determined that in hockey, he would try to achieve success like Dhyanchand.
Pak also saluted
The death of veteran Balbir Singh has also been described by the Pakistan hockey community as a major loss of sports in the subcontinent. Former Pakistan captain Samiullah said he had great elasticity, speed, and skill. When he used to move with the ball, he used to watch it It was because of his exceptional game that India won three consecutive Olympic gold medals. Pakistan Hockey Association general secretary Asif Bajwa expressed condolences, saying he was one of the veterans.
He said that I did not see him playing, but I have heard a lot about him from seniors that there were different strikers. Former captain Hassan Sardar said that he was inspired by his stories. Former player Islahuddin Siddiqui said he was very conversational and sociable. He had a deep understanding of hockey. He did not hesitate to share his experience. He was the manager of the Indian team when India defeated Pakistan in the 1975 World Cup.