India need to compete against top teams regularly: Roelant Oltmans

Jun 24, 2013, 00:40 IST | Agencies

No one expected India to cause major upsets at the eight-team FIH World League Round 3 that ended in Rotterdam yesterday. Yet their fans expected a better performance than what Michael Nobbs & Co delivered.

They finished sixth after losing to Spain 4-2 and now need to triumph at the Asia Cup to gain entry into the World Cup scheduled to take place next year in Rotterdam itself. 

Roelant Oltmans
Roelant Oltmans

The same old problems: poor defending, plenty of missed opportunities and poor coordination set India back in the competition and their High Performance Director, Roelant Oltmans believes India must play better opponents consistently in order to catch up with the best teams in the world.

“India was playing against the best teams in this tournament. It was never going to be easy. Australia is second in world ranking while the Netherlands is 4th. Spain (7th) is 4 places above India in the rankings.

“India do not get chances to play against top teams regularly. There is not much competition against teams like Australia, The Netherlands or Germany.

We must play against these teams on regular basis to bridge the gap in performance,” Oltmans told PTI Bhasha from Rotterdam. India could win only one match against France while played draws against Ireland and New Zealand apart from losing to Australia, The Netherlands and Spain. 

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