We have only played up to 70 percent of our potential: Junior India hockey coach Kumar

Salalah (Oman), May 29 (PTI) India’s junior hockey team head coach CR Kumar feels that his team is yet to reach its peak despite reaching the Asia Cup semi-final and would need to raise the bar during the business-end of the tournament.

India qualified for the semifinals of the continental tourney after registering 1-0 victory over Chines Taipei, 3-1 win against Japan, and a 17-0 thrashing of Thailand apart from a hard-fought 1-1 draw against arch-rivals Pakistan.

“It is always good to have tough games before semi-finals and final. We enjoyed it and really played well and proved our potential in the earlier matches but it is only 70 per cent so far. The remaining 30 per cent we will have to attain in the semifinal and final,” Kumar said during a virtual press conference from Salalah, Oman.

Kumar was happy that India had already qualified for the Junior World Cup to be held in Kuala Lumpur from December 5-16.

“I have got faith in this team. Obviously the Asia Cup was a qualifier for the World Cup, this was the only qualifier for us to prove our worth. This was our ultimate choice to be in the World Cup without any hassles,” he said.

Kumar, however, was not happy with the astro-turf here.

“Converting penalty corners is a matter of perfection but the turf is somewhat not helping us as there is a lot of friction. It’s an unused turf so the upper layer is not smooth. Not only us, every team, which wants to play high press game, has struggled. But it is same for all the teams so we have to rectify our mistakes,” he said.

India captain Uttam Singh said winning the World Cup is the team’s ultimate target.

“We won the Johor Cup and came with this confidence here, but winning one tournament is not enough. Our main target is World Cup,” he said.

Source: PTI News


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