India can win the Hockey World Cup, says Ajit Pal
India's only World Cup triumph came in the third edition of the championships way back in 1975, after a 2-1 win over Pakistan at Kuala Lumpur
A united India, "on and off the field", has the capability to recreate history and lift the hockey World Cup after 43 years, feels the country's lone World Cup-winning captain Ajit Pal Singh.
India's only World Cup triumph came in the third edition of the championships way back in 1975, after a 2-1 win over Pakistan at Kuala Lumpur. Since then the eight-time Olympic champions' best performance at the World Cup was fifth-place finishes at the 1982 and 1994 editions.
But this time around Ajit Pal has high hopes from Harendra Singh's brigade and feels the world ranked fifth Indian team can do wonders if they play to its potential and remain united throughout the event.
"Our team is looking sharper, more combined, fitter. They have now learnt how top handle hockey on turf. But the team which plays together can achieve anything," Ajit Pal said on the sidelines of the release of a curated coffee table book titled The Illustrated History of Indian Hockey: A Saga of Triumph, Pain and Dreams, authored by senior sports journalist V Krishnaswamy.
"But for that we will have to remain united on and off the field. Our target should be nothing other than winning the Cup," he added. The former hockey stalwart said anything less than semi-finals would be a below-par performance for the Indians in front of their home fans. "We should know how to handle pressure. We should finish in top four and after that it can be anybody's game," Ajit Pal said.
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