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Christopher Ruhr expects tough Indian challenge at the Olympics and World Cup

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Christopher Ruhr expects tough Indian challenge at the Olympics and World Cup

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SportsCafe Desk

01/16/2017

Christopher Ruhr has claimed that he expects India to compete with all the big guns for the major trophies soon based on their performances in the last few years. Ranchi Rays captain, Ashley Jackson, too gave his views on Indian hockey and paid a special tribute to MS Dhoni as well.

The German international believes that India, along with Argentina, have been the most improved team in the sport over the last few years. The 23-year-old added that India had a great chance of winning an Olympic medal and even the World Cup considering that fact that the World Cup is to be held in India.

"I think India and (2016 Olympic champions) Argentina developed most of all among the big hockey nations over the past 2-3 years. I like the style India plays and I think they are a huge competitor for winning an Olympic medal in 2020," Ruhr said, reported IANS.

"Also a medal at the World Cup in 2018 - especially because the World Cup takes place in India and the crowds in India are always amazing, which gives the home team another percentage point in motivation."

Ruhr will be a part of the German team that takes part in the World Hockey League semi-final later this year. At the previous event, he was the top scorer in Buenos Aires helping his tea to the final, where he added another three goals to his tally. The youngster said that the main reason for him to come to the HIL was to enjoy the crowd support -a trait missing from European hockey.

"I am super excited to play in the HIL. Since I played the Junior World Cup in Delhi, I have been dreaming about playing in this country in front of the unbelievable crowds in each stadium. We don't have big crowds very often, when we play in Germany or Europe," Ruhr said.

Ashley Jackson echoed his compatriot's views stating that it wasn't just the senior team's performance that reflected the improvement but at the lower levels as well.

I think it's safe to say with the senior team's performances over the past four years and the junior team now becoming World Champions under the leadership of coach Harendra Singh, Indian hockey is back to the top of the table once again," Jackson told PTI.

Jackson, who has led his Ranchi-based team to two titles said that was optimistic for the upcoming campaign as well.

"I think our expectations are always high because of what we achieved in the past, even last season we had a very successful league campaign finishing 1st by 8 points but came up short in the Semi Finals on shootouts," explained 29-year-old Jackson, who debuted for Great Britain in 2007."

Hailing from the UK, Jackson is an avid cricket fan as well and reserved special praise for the Indian wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni - calling him a pioneer of the game. 

MS Dhoni is a pioneer of the modern game as we know it today, the first of the modern era of cricket, really taking a shot, making it to the next level where it is less about textbook technique that they once taught us for hours and hours back home," Jackson added.

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