In a new interview with The Olympic Channel, former India head coach Harendra Singh, who has taken a new guard, believes that current India coach Graham Reid will have a selection headache while assembling the squad for the Tokyo Olympics.
“With the kind of competition we have in this team, I am sure it’s going to be very difficult to choose the first 16 for Olympics. Harman has become a solid defender and Mandeep is a nippy customer who doesn’t miss a single chance in sticking circle. Amit Rohidas is incredible in penalty corner defending. He is the best in business in the world. Consistency is key to success and all these mentioned players are now performing in each and every tournament with some element of improvement like work ethics, re-tackling, passing with precision, etc,” he added.
One of the major aspects of India’s dominance against Argentina, according to him, was hunger and purpose: “I think India played positive hockey. We outplayed them in every department like passing, receiving, tackling and of course, fitness and speed. Our boys were hungry for the win. They are playing for a purpose,” Harendra said.
And he feels India can end their medal drought at the Olympics this time around in Tokyo. India’s last medal in Hockey was the gold at Moscow 1980. He believes India is one of the contenders for the gold medal.
Talking about the Indian’s men coach: “He (Graham Reid) is a cool and calm customer and having been for so many years an assistant coach of the legendary Ric Charlesworth, he knows how to get the best out of players”.
Harendra also warned the Indian players against complacency: “My only advice to all our players to keep focused, don’t get complacent, keep pushing hard as much as possible because the Olympic medal is in our hand with the team,” he concluded.
India is slated to take on Great Britain next in the FIH Hockey Pro League on May 8 and 9th at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre, London.