Legendary Dhanraj Pillay believes with Rani Rampal at the helm and Savita Punia under the bar, the Indian women's hockey team has the ability to spring a surprise in next year's Tokyo Olympics. "We have one of the best captains in Rani. I think Rani and goalkeeper Savita can take the team to a podium finish. The team is working really hard, preparing for the Olympics and I am confident of a good show," Pillay said on 'In The Sportlight' show hosted by paddler Mudit Dani.
Rani had led India to the podium at the 2018 Asian Games and also guided the team to Olympics for the second successive time. Savita, who is one of the most experienced players in the team, has also played a crucial role in the Olympic Qualifier.
A four-time Olympian, Pillay also believes hockey has come a long way, especially when it comes to stamina and physical abilities. "What hockey I played and what these players have been playing for the last 10-15 years, there is no match. The current players are playing based on their fitness abilities. "Fitness has changed Indian hockey and also the players are very serious about their physique and endurance abilities," he said.
"Today the Indian team can be compared with Australia or Netherlands or Germany. They can give a tough fight to any team in the world," added Pillay.