New Delhi, Nov 30 : Former India hockey skipper Sardar Singh on Friday wished that India need to be consistent throughout four quarters to recuperate the coveted title after 43 years.
The hosts might have registered a comprehensive victory of 5-0 against South Africa in their opening match of the 16-nation World Cup being played at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, but former Indian hockey team captain Sardar Singh, who recently announced his retirement from international hockey, felt India could have played much better hockey against the African team, which is at No 15 in the World Ranking.
He was interacting with media on the sidelines of HCL Foundation annual national sports meet- Sports for Change, here.
He said, ''We played simple hockey, though our ball rotation and finishing was good in the first two quarters, however, in the third quarter we looked a little bit easy.’’
The former midfielder felt India was not consistent in their play against the African team. ''When you will be playing against a big side, so you need to be consistent throughout the four quarters. Energy level should be high. Hope everyone is aware of their role,’’ he said.
"We always nervous in our first match, but India showed good composer to win the match comprehensively which is very important in every big tournament,’’ The 32-year-old added.
The former skipper also heaped praise on Aakasdeep Singh for his performance in the first match, saying that, “He played the best game. He was coming in the midfield on a regular interval and also played a good role in forward position too.’’
‘’Earlier, too, Aakasdeep had played as a linkman in a few matches in his last Asian Champions Trophy. Therefore, he knows his role very well and will be the key player in the midfield in this World Cup,’’ Singh added.
On being asked for not being able to score goals in the knockout match in the recently concluded Asiad he said, ‘’We need to be mentally strong especially against Malaysia, Belgium and other big teams. We do play with a free mind in league matches, but when crucial matches come we get started becoming nervous. So, we need to work on it.’’
''How we kill time when we leading in the match and how we have to play without the goalkeeper. All these things were being discussed when I was a part of the team. Hope they will implement it," the former Captain added. (UNI)