New Delhi: Holding the games administrators responsible for the teams poor show in the Azlan Shah Cup, former chief coach Vasudevan Baskaran said that Indian hockey need fresh legs and a strong bench strength ahead of next year's Olympic qualifiers.
We have to qualify for London Olympics anyhow. We dont want to face the agony of ot qualifying for the Olympics like 2008. But for that we need fresh legs in Indian hockey, said Baskaran, who led India to its eighth and last Olympic gold in 1980 Moscow Games.
When I was the chief coach, the pool of players was almost the same as it is now after five years. We dont have any dearth of talent but there is an urgent need to nurture them. We need to forget the power struggle between Indian Hockey Federation and Hockey India, he said.
People say that we missed midfielder Sardara Singh in the Azlan Shah Cup but that is not an excuse. We must have 3 or 4 players vying for each position. The administration should try to broaden the pool, said Baskaran, who was the coach of the national team during the 2006 World Cup.
Lauding young penalty corner specialist Rupinder Pal Singh for his impressive performance in the Azlan Shah Cup, Baskaran suggested zone-based tournaments to broaden Indias reserve pool in hockey.
Rupinder Pal Singh is the find of the tournament but he would not have been in the starting line-up if Sandeep Singh was there. That is not the right process.