Bhubaneswar: Indian men's hockey team chief coach Graham Reid feels his wards need to improve their "one-on-one" tackling and 3D skills ahead of the FIH Pro League ties against Belgium and Australia.
The Indian team made a dream debut at the FIH Pro League, beating world number three Netherlands 5-2 in the first tie of the double header on Saturday. The hosts then came from two goals down to beat the Dutch 3-1 in shoot-out after the second game ended 3-3 in regulation time.
India garnered five points (three from the outright win and two from the second game) from their opening Pro League tie.
India will next host world champions Belgium on 8 and 9 February followed by two more home ties against Australia on 22 and 23 February.
"The good thing was we struggled to win this (second) match and sometimes, it's good to struggle for a win because you learn a lot and also it is a proof that if we apply ourselves and use some aggressiveness, we can bounce back," Reid said.
"I still feel our one-on-one tackling can improve and we have also been working on 3D (three dimensional) skills to beat players in short space.
"This can help create penalty corners and when you have a world-class dragflick battery, we can definitely make use of this."
It was at the 2015 FIH Hockey World League Final in Raipur when India had managed to overcome a 0-2 goal deficit in the first half to draw against the Netherlands 5-5 in regulation time before prevailing in a penalty shootout to secure the bronze medal.
And dragflicker Rupiner Pal Singh, who scored a goal on Sunday, said the team has matured a lot in the last two years.
"If this probably happened to us two years ago (conceding early goals), we may not have been able to make a comeback. But I think we have now matured, players are taking responsibility and adhering to coach's instruction of 'tackle and play forward'," he said.
"There is definitely a change in attitude on how we approach a game even when we are down," added the dragflicker, who was adjusted man-of-the-match on Sunday.
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Updated Date: Jan 20, 2020 17:19:32 IST