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Rupinder urges Indian men's team to innovate passing to counter Australia

Tokyo Olympic medallist defender Rupinder Pal Singh feels India needs to innovate passing to counter Australia's game.

Rupinder urges Indian mens team to innovate passing to counter Australia

Rupinder Pal Singh was part of India's Tokyo Olympics bronze medal-winning team in 2021. 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 17 April 2024 5:17 AM GMT

Former drag flicker and Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Rupinder Pal Singh said that the Indian men's hockey team needs to innovate their passing to counter Australia's aggressive style of play.

He also suggested better defensive coordination among the Indian defenders.

India was whitewashed by Australia in the recently concluded five-Test series in Perth last week despite performing well in the FIH Pro League before the tournament.

The result from Australia raised many questions at a time when India are expected to better or match its bronze from the Tokyo Olympics at the Paris Games in July-August.

"We lost the first match 5-1, after that the team improved and the score-lines were close, we missed some chances, some work needs to be done before the Olympics. The series was a preparation for the Paris Olympics, as new variations and players were tried out," he told PTI while speaking on the sidelines of a three-day training programme organised by Hockey India.

Asked how should the team counter Australia's attacking style of play, he said innovative passing could do the trick.

"Australia's hard press can be countered, high level of coordination is required for that, defender-to-defender ball transfer, quick passes from defenders to the mid-field, overhead passes would be useful in countering such a style of play," the 33-year-old suggested.

Rupinder, however, is not much worried by the final result as he felt that the team kept improving with every game. He described Indian skipper Harmanpreet Singh as one of the best drag-flickers in the world and said that his form will be crucial for India in the Paris Olympics.

At the event, besides Rupinder, former India goalkeeper Yogita Bali, along with India goalkeepers Adrian D'Souza, Bharat Chetri, Helen Mary, Dipika Murty, Akash Chikte, and PT Rao were also present.

Apart from Singh, the other eminent former India drag-flickers who attended the training were Gurjinder Singh, VR Raghunath, and Jaspreet Kaur.

The former stars have drawn up a curriculum on the basics of drag-flicking and goalkeeping which would be implemented across all academies and centres in the country.

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