Better, Ingenious Passing Can Counteract Australian Aggression: Rupinder Pal Singh

New Delhi: Rupinder Pal Singh, a former drag-flick expert, believes the Olympic-bound Indian men’s hockey team can match Australia’s aggressive style of play with improved defensive cooperation and some creative passing, despite their recent 0–5 thrashing. India, which performed well in the FIH Pro League prior to being blanked in the five-test series in Perth, is predicted to improve or equal their bronze from the Tokyo Olympics in the July–August Paris Games.

Singh, a member of the gold-winning squad from the 2014 Asian Games, is not too anxious about the outcome since he believes the team got better every game.

“After losing the first game 5-1, the squad became better and the scorelines were tight. We missed a few opportunities, so there is still work to be done before the Olympics. He told PTI Videos that the series served as a practice run for the Olympics in Paris, where new players and variants were tested.

In response to a question on how the side might counter Australia’s offensive style of play, he suggested using creative passing.

“Defender-to-defender ball transfer, quick passes from defenders to the midfield, and overhead passes would be useful in countering such a style of play,” the 33-year-old said. “Australia’s hard press can be countered; a high level of coordination is required for that.”

India’s dependence on penalty corners to score goals is acceptable, in his opinion.

All international teams, including Australia, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, rely on penalty corners. Defenses have become tougher, and in this situation, PC conversion is such a crucial instrument that they must score one or two goals in every game, the speaker said.

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He called Harmanpreet Singh, the captain of India right now, one of the world’s top drag-flickers.

But he was worried about the women’s team’s penalty corner conversion percentage. The squad is trying to rebuild itself after its shocking loss at the Olympics.

“We need to work on that (penalty corner conversion), it’s a worry because it’s a crucial tool in today’s hockey,” he added.

Speaking on the margins of a three-day Hockey India-organized training camp was Singh. Along with the India goalkeepers Adrian D’Souza, Bharat Chetri, Helen Mary, Dipika Murty, Akash Chikte, and PT Rao, it was also attended by former goalkeeper Yogita Bali.

In addition to Singh, Jaspreet Kaur, Gurjinder Singh, and VR Raghunath were the other notable former drag flickers from India that attended the program.

The former players have created a curriculum that will be taught at all of the nation’s academies and centers, including the fundamentals of drag-flicking and goalkeeping.

Bright future for women’s hockey

Women’s hockey will succeed despite the sadness of the Olympics, predicts Bali, who selected Bichu Devi Kharibam of Manipur to replace the departed Savita Punia as goalie.

We practiced with the top six goalkeepers in India when we were in Bengaluru, and after Savita, I thought Bichhu was the finest. After Savita, she may be India’s top player, according to Bali.

According to Bali, Indian women’s hockey has advanced significantly in the last many years.

“There are a lot more amenities today than when I began playing, including nutritionists and scientific consultants to aid in players’ growth.

“Things are going well,” she added. “Earlier, Indian Railways was the major employer for hockey players. Now, several departments are offering jobs.”


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