Indian team needs to improve the short corner conversion rate and sort out its minor defence lapses to produce a commendable performance in the Asian Games, feels skipper Rajpal Singh.

India finished second in the Commonwealth Games after losing 0-8 to Australia in the final of the event but Rajpal refused to blame any individual or any particular aspect of the game for conceding too many goals as hockey is a team sport.

“You cannot blame only defence for failure. Hockey is a collective sport and everyone needs to chip in,” Rajpal said.

“The team is in good shape and will look to present a commendable performance in China. Every team intends to win and we will take it as one game at a time. However, China and Japan will pose good competition,” the Indian forward added.

Interestingly, India has not won a gold medal in the Asian Games since 1998.

“Our main intention is to qualify for the London Olympics to be held in 2012. The team would look to reduce the errors.

Also penalty corner conversion needs to be improved. We have been doing well in converting our short corners, but it needs to be further improved,” he said.

Talking about the newly-introduced Global Positioning System (GPS) in the Indian hockey, Singh said it is good to incorporate technology in the game as it helps to improve the quality of game and enables you to maintain your focus on the rough patches.

Asked if the Indian hockey team requires the services of a sports psychologist, the forward said, “No body can do any magic in such a short span of time.”

Keywords: Asian Games

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