But Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh said they should have put more pressure on the Aussies, opened the second flank, reduced the pace and defended well enough to create opportunities for a counterattack.
Manpreet gave an insight into what good his team could have done after thrashing India 7-0 in the final of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games here.
“We need to put more pressure on the Aussies in the upcoming tournaments. When they were attacking from one side, we could have opened the other flank, the midfielders should have pushed more balls and we should have created more chances than before. Should have used our strength in the drag-flick to hurt them,” Manpreet Singh said about what his entire team could have done to stop the Australian juggernaut.
The Indian midfield was completely cut off in the absence of Vivek Sagar Prasad and Manpreet, who injured his right shoulder and had to sit out for a large part of the match.
Manpreet said that they will study the recording of the match and identify various areas which need improvement.
“It’s a really good team right now. A lot of the players are young, so [they] Just need more experience. It’s the experience we’re getting from the best hockey in the world right now, so we just need to learn.”
Manpreet said that he did not expect the match to be so one-sided. “We didn’t expect it, we came here expecting a close fight. We had prepared well and played well in the tournament till the final. So, there was no pressure.”
India lost 8–0 to Australia in the 2010 CWG final, 4–0 in the 2014 final. With India thrashing India 1-7 in a pool match of the Tokyo Olympics and 7-0 on Monday, is India turning out to be a bogus team for Australia? Manpreet said that it is not so and he has had good days against him as well. “Today was a day when nothing went right for us,” he said.
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