India are flickin' good: Former hockey star Sandeep Singh
Former drag flick ace Sandeep Singh analyses India's penalty corner department comprising specialists Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar and Amit Rohidas and comes away impressed
Whenever Sandeep Singh stepped up to take drag flicks for India, there would be high -fives all around because he almost always scored. Unfortunately, that consistency in the penalty corner department has been missing since Sandeep ceased to be a part of the national team after 2014.
The current PC department, comprising Harmanpreet Singh, 22, Varun Kumar, 23, and Amit Rohidas, 25, however, holds a lot of promise, and are more than capable of delivering at the upcoming World Cup in Bhubaneswar, felt Sandeep. "Harmanpreet is our main drag flicker.
He is most experienced and has come up through the junior ranks. I have watched him drag flick and earlier he used to go in for speed or power in his flicks. When you do that, the accuracy tends to lack a bit. In the recent past though, I have seen him being more focussed on the angles and the placements, which is great. Power is important but power without placement, will not give you the desired results. Now, I believe he is well equipped with both power and placement in his flicks and that will give him a lot of confidence too," Sandeep told mid-day from Chandigarh yesterday.
In Varun, India have a good back-up for Harmanpreet, said Sandeep, 32. "In case Harmanpreet is off-colour in a particular match, which can happen in a long tournament like this, Varun is the perfect cover for him. Varun is a good understudy to Harmanpreet.
Varun Kumar and Amit Rohidas
They are both around the same age. Varun has been watching Harmanpreet from close quarters for a long time and can execute similarly good flicks," added Sandeep, who finished as the highest scorer, with 16 goals, at the 2012 Olympic qualifier tournament in New Delhi. Finally, Sandeep hailed Amit as India's surprise weapon for this tournament.
"In top competitions like the World Cup or Olympics, all teams come very well prepared. Goalkeepers watch videos of drag flickers and study every move. Here's where Amit can be our hidden treasure.
He has some good flicks, but has not got a lot of opportunity on the international circuit, which means opposition goalkeepers have not seen him enough to study his action. There is obviously no pressure on him too. In close matches, if Amit is given a chance, I feel he can beat some of the best goalkeepers in the world," concluded Sandeep.
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