Hockey

Tokyo Olympics | Win is important for revival of Indian hockey, says V. Baskaran

Former captain of Indian hockey team V. Baskaran. File photo   | Photo Credit: M. Vedhan

Former Indian hockey team captain V. Baskaran Baskaran, who had led India to its last Olympic gold medal in hockey in the 1980 Moscow edition, was all praise for the collective spirit of Team India at the Tokyo Olympics.

“This is a great, great victory. Our midfielders did a wonderful job, and the entire team was outstanding. There can’t be one player that can take credit dor the historic win,” Baskaran said.

Goalkeeper Sreejesh did really well in the last few seconds during penalty corners. Actually, my mind went back to 2016 Rio Olympics when India conceded a goal in the last few seconds when Sreejesh was the 'keeper. I was worried. This time, Sreejesh did a great job. It was a total effort by the Indian team. India won in a manner that was very pleasing.

According to Baskaran, Indians fitness levels in the Olympic event were very high. “So was ball trapping and ball control. Germans generally play physical hockey and India was upto it”. The fact that India scored three goals in counter attack against a team that was strong in defence showed our standards, he said.

“India's penalty corner specialist Harmanpreet Singh scored six goals, best goalkeeping best attack, we had the best attack”. Baskaran also gave full credit to team coach Graham Reid. “India couldn't have asked for mor,” he said.

“The victory is important for the revival of Indian hockey. Now India should promote the victory and all the players, which will inspire the younger generation.

“In this virtual world, we should make a promotional video of about 10-20 minutes of the best goals scored, the best saves made and the best moments”, he said.

Baskaran said India hockey needs a kind of promotion that was done when India won the 1975 World Cup. “Under the then Presidentship of Indian Hockey Fededration (IHF), M.A.M. Ramaswamy, the team travelled throughout india and played quite a matches too”, he said.

Baskaran feels it is the right time to promote the game domestically at the grassroot level. “We should have regular coaching camps for Under-14 players. We need to have structural activities at the State and national levels. We need to do regular talent scouting. Most important, we should promote all the current Indian players in the team”, Mr. Baskaran said.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 7:17:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/tokyo-olympics-win-is-important-for-revival-of-indian-hockey-says-v-baskaran/article35737950.ece

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