Mon, 23 Jul 2012 19:06:14 GMT | By IANS

Play Indian-style attacking hockey: Vasudevan Baskaran

Kolkata: Vasudevan Baskaran, who led India to its last Olympic hockey gold 32 years ago, feels the team needs to adopt the aggressive "Indian style of play" for a podium finish at the the London Games.


Play Indian-style attacking hockey: Vasudevan Baskaran

"Indian hockey has traditionally been characterised by individual flair, brilliant stick work and attacking mode of play. Instead of trying to borrow others' style we must focus on playing to our strength which is attacking from the onset till the last minute of the game," Baskaran told IANS in an interview.

Though wishing for a medal for the team, the 61-year-old Baskaran said a top five finish for the Indian team at the Games will be an honorable performance.

"The team has some very good players, is experienced, so I am sure they will perform well. Winning a medal surely will be a dream come true. But a top five finish for our team currently ranked at 10 will also be honorable," said Baskaran who captained his side to a gold at the Moscow Games in 1980, ending a 16 year drought.

The Indians led by goalie Bharat Chhetri and coached by Michael Nobbs, have qualified for the London Games 2012 after a gap of 8 years trouncing France 8-1 in the finals of the qualifiers.

India begin their campaign against the Netherlands July 30, followed by matches against New Zealand August 1, Germany August 3, Korea August 5 and Belgium August 7.

Baskaran, who coached the national team several times, the last occasion being at the 2006 Men's Hockey World Cup in Monchengladbach, singled out medio Sardara Singh and ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh as the two players to watch out for.

"I am banking on both the Singhs and hoping for a superlative performance from them. The success of a team largely depends on the mid fielders and I am glad that we have Sardara orchestrating the game from the midfield."

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