Hockey: We got self belief after 2014 Asian Games gold, says Raghunath

Bengaluru: Ace drag-flicker VR Raghunath said the self belief which they had gained after winning the gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games was responsible for the Indian men's hockey team's constant rise at the world stage in the recent years.

"Ever since the Asian Games Gold in 2014, the team has started to believe in itself again. We never wanted to come down from that stage and only wanted to climb up. We had a ranking of 12-13 before 2014 but recently we were placed No.6 and currently we are ranked No.7 in the world," Raghunath said in the lead up to the Champions Trophy in London.

India's Raghunath Vokkaliga Ramachandra in action during a men's field hockey match between India and Wales. India won the match 3-1. AFP

V Raghunath. AFP

"No opponent takes us lightly anymore and they talk about us as a team that does well in knockouts. I believe we have a bright chance and we are moving in the right direction for the upcoming tournaments," added the 27-year-old defender.

He is one of the senior most players in the team, but Raghunath said one can't get complacent.

"Nobody can take their place in the Indian team for granted, you have to constantly prove yourself. Anyone who performs well will be in the squad and personally for me, I would like to test myself against big teams like Australia, Germany and Netherlands in the upcoming tournaments and analyse my performance," he said.

"The priority will be to convert maximum penalty corners so that my team is in a comfortable spot in the first two quarters," he added.

Commenting on the ongoing preparations for Rio Olympics at SAI centre here, Raghunath said: "I feel we are best prepared than ever before for a big tournament, be it physically, mentally or even psychologically. We are not only focus on improving individually but also encourage each other and tell ourselves that we need to perform as a unit to leave a mark at the Olympics this time."

Updated Date: May 10, 2016 21:43 PM

Also Watch

Watch: Firstpost test rides the new Thunderbird 500X in Goa and walks you through the Royal Enfield Garage Cafe
  • Tuesday, April 17, 2018 Varun Dhawan on Shoojit Sircar's October, 5-star reviews and working with Anushka Sharma in Sui Dhaaga
  • Saturday, April 14, 2018 Ambedkar Jayanti: Re-visiting Babasaheb's ideals exposes fake Dalit politics of Rahul Gandhi and Congress
  • Monday, April 9, 2018 48 hours with Huawei P20 Pro: Triple camera offering is set to redefine smartphone imaging
  • Monday, April 16, 2018 Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore interview: Sports can't be anyone's fiefdom, we need an ecosystem to nurture raw talent

Also See