New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) Australia’s most decorated hockey player Jamie Dwyer, a five-time Player of the Year, feels the Indian team is not smart enough against the world’s top sides.
As eight-time Olympic champions India are trying to regain their lost glory, Dwyer said they cannot expect to turn up on the field and win everyday.
“You can’t just turn up on the field and win. You need to have a game plan, you need to be fit and fast enough to last the duration. That is something India are not doing at the moment,” Dwyer told IANS Thursday on the eve of the match between Punjab Warriors and Delhi Waveriders in the Hockey India League (HIL).
The 34-year-old Dwyer, who leads Punjab, stressed that India must focus on doing the basics right. He was surprised that Indians were not paying attention to simple things like trapping and passing.
“You don’t have to do anything fancy to succeed in hockey. I have seen how Indians practise and they don’t pay much attention to trapping and passing the ball. Top teams like Germany, Australia and the Netherlands are very strong in their basic skills,” said the Australian forward.
Asked about India’s obsession with Australian coaches, Dwyer jokingly said it looks like a fascination to him as well. India recently replaced Australian Michael Nobbs with compatriot Terry Walsh.
“On a serious note, Terry is a good coach and I hope India can find a suitable style of play under him. They need to improve mentally more than anything else,” he said.
Australia rested Dwyer for the recently held World Hockey League Final where the Dutch were crowned champions. The Queensland-born player has been part of the Australian team which won the coveted World Cup (2010) and Olympic gold (2004).
Dwyer was non-committal about playing his fourth Olympics in Rio but confirmed that he will be available for selection for the World Cup and Champions Trophy later in 2014.
“Rio is too far, mate, and I am not getting any younger. Let’s see how my body holds till then,” he signed off.