“When the Olympics were held this season, India certainly had any opportunities.” Ashok Kumar:


World Cup-winning hockey legend Ashok Kumar on Wednesday said it would be hard for the Indian men’s group to maintain the momentum which seemed good enough to get a long-awaited Olympic podium finish had the Games been held as scheduled this season.

A vital member of this 1975 world champion staff and a bronze-medallist in the Munich Olympics can not help but wonder if the Manpreet Singh-led team could form up as well next year, since it did this season following a leading 2019.

“When the Olympics were held this season, we certainly had some opportunities. We’d shown progress and we might have some good results there,” Kumar, who scored the winning goal from Pakistan at the 1975 World Cup closing,.

“Surely, there’s a break in momentum and it’ll truly make a major difference. You can not say today (which we’ll win trophy ). We’ll discuss another year seeing how they function in the build up to the Olympics.”

In actuality, Kumar believes that trainer Graham Reid are also somewhat circumspect because of this protracted driven fracture.

“Even (head trainer ) Graham Reid is going to have significant question mark heading on his mind today. Training is about on inside doors that are closed. If you don’t see them in actual games, how are you going to check… He is not a machine”

India’s greatest show in 2019 came from world’s top rated team Belgium, beating a complete strength side 2-1 in a Guru League experience. India also had a respectable 2-2 draw from the powerful Australia at a Pro League match before planet came to a standstill because of the pandemic.

The 70-year old farther stated the women’s team was also in excellent shape and could have done nicely had the Olympics been held this past year.

“Our women’s team were at the peak of the form and they also had glowing opportunities but today we never understand. We’ll discuss the Olympics just next year,” he said, recalling the group’s 5-1 thumping win over the USA at the first leg Olympic Qualifier.

The men’s group is going to have a packed calendar when sporting restart article pandemic since it’s slated to play at the Asian Champions Trophy in November prior to its tour to Malaysia after which a Four-Nation championship in New Zealand early next year.

It will compete at the Professional League contrary to Argentina with back-to-back games until end of May from the build around Tokyo 2021.

India, that dropped to Belgium from the Rio 2016 quarterfinals, has never won an Olympic medal since Moscow 1980 at which it won a golden medal.

“It depends upon how they regroup and the way they maintain the spirit high. They must keep motivated, it is only a single entity,” the celebrity dribbler of yesteryears said.

Kumar nevertheless thought that India has improved a great deal in the recent years by strengthening its defence. “We’ve got a balanced squad right now. We’ve plugged the gap of leaking goals in the last moment. Our defence is a lot better today.”

“We’ve got some decent drag-flickers at Rupinder Pal Singh and Simarnjeet Singh. The forward simply have to combine a little more and show chunk anticipation.”


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