India started its campaign in the Azlan Shah Cup, Kuala Lumpur, 2000 against the European champions, Germany. Dhanraj Pillay and his teammates were confident of displaying a good performance against Germany in the match and they started the match on a positive note. Both the teams played quite well in the first half of the match and the half saw a see-saw battle between the two teams. Germany scored the first goal in the very 1st minute of the match and it scored another goal in the 9th minute to get a lead of 2-0 in the match. However, the Indian team came back from the situation without much delay and scored its first goal in the 18th minute. It was Dhanraj Pillay who scored the goal with a brilliant piece of stick work and a stunning run through the German defence. The first half ended on 2-1 in Germany's favour.
The Indian team played quite well in the second half of the match and made some wonderful moves to the German defence to create some openings. However, the failure of Indian strikers to convert the chance into goal deferred India from getting the second goal. Dhanraj Pillay tried a lot to get a goal in the half; however, the German defenders became successful to restrict him from scoring. As the second half remained goalless, the match ended on the first half score of 2-1 and German won the match with the margin.
After losing to Germany in the first match, India played against its arch rivals Pakistan in the second match of the Azlan Shah Cup, Kuala Lumpur, 2000. India started the match with an attacking mode and as Dhanraj Pillay and the other strikers were in rhythm, India earned 3 penalty corners within the first 5 minutes of the match. Dhanraj Pillay made a brilliant move in the second penalty corner; however, his shot hit the upright, in spite of beating the Pakistani goalkeeper. Indian continued putting pressure on the Pakistani defence through Dhanraj Pillay and the other players, though continued to miss the chances of scoring a goal. Rather, Pakistan scored its first goal of the match in the 7th minute against the flow of the match and it also scored its second goal in the 28th minute. Pakistan finished the first half of the match with a healthy lead of 2-0.
The Indian team came back into the match in the second half and Dhanraj Pillay started to make his trademark runs through the Pakistani defence. As the other Indian players also accompanied Dhanraj well, India started to dominate the Pakistanis in the match. After making continuous efforts, India scored its first goal in the 52nd minute of the match, when Baljit Singh Dhillon converted a penalty-corner into goal. India increased the speed of attacking into the Pakistani defence after getting the score and Dhanraj Pillay and his teammates were creating continuous openings. However, all the efforts went in vein, as none of the Indian players could convert them to goal. India eventually lost the match 1-2 to Pakistan.
India was under huge pressure after losing its first two matches in the Azlan Shah Cup, Kuala Lumpur, 2000, against Germany and Pakistan and it played its third match against Canada. India was keen to beat Canada in the match to stay alive in the tournament; however, its dreams faced a set back, when Canada scored its first goal in the 6th minute of the match. India went in the attacking mode right after conceding the goal and Dhanraj Pillay was leading the charge on behalf of the Indians. Dhanraj Pillay made a stunning run through the Canadian defence in the 7th minute to pick up pass from Mohammad Riaz and then sent the ball into the net, with utter brilliance. India continued making attacks to the Pakistani defence after the goal, however, it was again the failure of the Indian strikers to convert a chance into goal that denied India a lead. However, India became successful to take a lead in the match when Deepak Thakur scored a brilliant goal to provide India a 2-1 lead, during the break.
Dhanraj Pillay made a wonderful use of his extraordinary speed in the beginning of the second half and got rid of the Canadian defenders to pick a wonderful cross from Deepak Thakur. He was running with lightening speed and after reaching in front of the Canadian goalkeeper, he sent the ball to goal over his pads with ease. The goal reminded many spectators about the golden days of Dhanraj Pillay and the goal also encouraged the other Indian players a lot. However, the Canadian players did not let it go in spite of trailing 1-3 to the Indians and they scored their second goal in the 53rd minute. Though, they tried their best to make some more fruitful efforts, India became successful to restrict Canada till the end and earned a well deserved 3-2 victory.
However, the Indian team then again went down in its performances in the next match against South Korea and lost the match. It was a huge disappointment for the Indian players and also for Dhanraj Pillay, as India lost the match in spite of making a lot of openings for goal. It was the failure of the Indian players to convert the openings into goal that troubled the team most in the match. India then beat Malaysia 2-1 in the next match of the Azlan Shah Cup, Kuala Lumpur, 2000, where Dhanraj Pillay played wonderfully once again. India conceded a goal in the 11th minute of the match and equalised soon with a goal from Deepak Thakur in the 32nd minute. Dhanraj Pillay and the other Indian players played better in the second half and scored yet another goal to seal the match by 2-1. India then beat New Zealand by 2-1 also and qualified for the 3rd/4th position match against the hosts, Malaysia.
India once again conceded a goal in the first half of the match against New Zealand and then got the equaliser through the stick of Deepak Thakur in the 26th minute. Dhanraj Pillay was playing well in the match and India's second goal came from a brilliant combined effort from Saini, Pillay and Deepak Thakur, in the 28th minute. Pillay scored the goal after Thakur's shot was padded up by the Kiwi goalie and gave India a 2-1 lead. India retained the lead till the end of the match and qualified for the 3rd/4th position match to play against Malaysia. The match against Malaysia saw Dhanraj Pillay and the other Indian players playing in their real form, as they thrashed Malaysia by a good margin of 4-1 in the match. Though, the Malaysia team scored the first goal in the 3rd minute of the match, the Indians scored the equaliser soon. Baljit Singh Dhillon scored the equaliser for India in the 6th minute, after one of the Malaysian defenders pull down Dhanraj Pillay within their circle.
After equalising the scores, the Indian players made more and more attacks into the Malaysian defence to put on some more pressure. Dhanraj Pillay provided India the much needed lead in the match, when he scored the second goal for his team in a brilliant manner. He got a pass from Mohammad Riaz on top of the Malaysian circle and he used his reverse hit to deadly effect to score the goal, after dodging past one defender. India went on to break by leading Malaysia 2-1. India increased its attacking speed in the second half and Dhanraj Pillay initiated a number of wonderful attacks in this half. India scored its third goal in the 54th minute of the match, when Dilip Tirkey scored from a direct hit to provide India a 3-1 lead. India scored yet another goal in the 67th minute of the match through Dhillon's stick and eventually won the match by a margin of 4-1. India won the bronze medal in the Azlan Shah Cup, Kuala Lumpur, 2000 by winning this match and Dhanraj Pillay played a good part in this achievement of India.