"Left to themselves, the Indians they would prefer the Australian style of counter-attack and hit-and-run. There is no denying that the Australian formula will help the Indians to be on top of the game physically for a 60-minute game. But the Indians are skillful enough to play the passing game well. It is tough, but will be rewarding."
By Abhishek Roy

It's high time coaches stopped experimenting with Indian hockey ahead of the World Cup and the Commonwealth and the Asian Games later this year. They should be clear what style the players should adopt - European or Australian.

Indian players could not have asked for a better think tank than Dutchman Roelant Oltmans as high performance director and Australian Terry Walsh as the chief coach. Both have impressive CVs and swear by placing India among the best five or six teams in the world. To achieve this, both have to be on the same page.

Ideally, Oltmans and Walsh should come up with a mixture of the two styles to suit the Indian players taking into account their speed and stamina. It should essentially be an Indian style where skills also play a part, more so when the duration of the game is going to be reduced by 10 minutes to 60 from September 1.

The World Cup from May 31-June 15 at The Hague and the Commonwealth Games, slated for July 23-Aug 3 in Glasgow, will be a 70-minute affair. But the Asian Games, starting Sep 19 in Incheon, will be the first major tournament where it will be played over 60 minutes.

The 60-minute game is market-driven as the International Hockey Federation - wants to make the game quicker, faster and shorter. But it also makes the game more tougher and will test the skill and the speed of the players.

The coaches may like the Indians to take to the European style, considering the continentals have been the dominant force in the sport for over a quarter of a century - to be precise, from 1988.

Come to think of it, since the 1988 Seoul Games, European teams have won the gold in six of the seven Olympics and four of the six World Cups. That's a staggering record.

Germany have won three Olympic gold medals -, the Netherlands two - and Great Britain - once. Australia - are the only non-European to have won an Olympic medal. Germany - and the Netherlands - have also won the World Cup twice each during this period.

For Indians, integrating the best practices of European hockey with the Australian style could just be the need of the hour. Oltmans also agrees and says the skilled Indians should try to retain their traditional style instead of blindly adopting either European or the Australian style.

But being a Dutchman, Oltmans advocates the European style. Indian players are so skilled they should embrace the European style, which is also all passing but with some speed.

Left to themselves, the Indians they would prefer the Australian style of counter-attack and hit-and-run. There is no denying that the Australian formula will help the Indians to be on top of the game physically for a 60-minute game. But the Indians are skillful enough to play the passing game well. It is tough, but will be rewarding.

-


comments powered by Disqus
Read more on:
 INDIA (136901 views)
 INDIAN (47121 views)
 BEST (24411 views)
 GERMAN (11581 views)
 SEOUL (9321 views)
 COMMONWEALTH GAMES (7931 views)
 ASIAN GAMES (7319 views)
 BRITAIN (6521 views)
 COMMONWEALTH (5801 views)
 HOCKEY (5730 views)
 IANS (5901 views)
 1988 (4981 views)
 GLASGOW (4776 views)
 INDIAN HOCKEY (4641 views)
 MAY 31 (4411 views)
 OLYMPIC GOLD (4350 views)
 HAGUE (4266 views)
 JUNE 15 (4171 views)
 THINK TANK (3921 views)
 ADVOCATE (3811 views)
 WORLD CUP (3741 views)
 NETHERLANDS (3579 views)
 GOLD MEDAL (3651 views)
 OLYMPICS (2191 views)
 COMMONWEALTH GAME (2151 views)
 THE NETHERLANDS (2151 views)
 SEP 19 (1941 views)
 CONTINENTAL (1371 views)
 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL (1321 views)
 NETHERLAND (1261 views)
 

PERMALINK

http://www.nerve.in/news:2535002322317
You can quote the permanent link above for a direct link to the story. We do not archive or expire our news stories.


STORY OPTIONS
  Email this story to a friend
  XML feed for India


 
COPYRIGHTS INFORMATION
All rights reserved for news content. Reproduction, storage or redistribution of Nerve content and articles in any medium is strictly prohibited.
Contact Nerve Staff for any feedback, corrections and omissions in news stories.
 

All rights reserved for the news content. Reproduction, storage or redistribution of Nerve content and articles in any medium is strictly prohibited.