Asian style is missing now, which is hurting Indian hockey, asserts Deepak Thakur

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Deepak Thakur has stated that the Asian style of hockey is missing among the Indian players and that is hurting the sport in the country at the moment. The former India international also mentioned that the former players who excelled in Asian style of hockey should be brought in as coaches.

The Indian hockey team is aiming to make it to the Olympics via the FIH Olympic Qualifiers which will be held later this year. With Graham Reid at the helm of the current senior team, the side won the FIH Series Finals last month and has started its preparations for the Olympic qualification event. However, former Indian forward Deepak Thakur has spoken about the difference between the Asian style of hockey and the European style.

“Today, all international sides employ the European style of play. When all teams are playing like this, you need a second pattern to break their game-play. This is where you need to be adept at Asian-style skills like dodging, return-passes, and stick work. If you can develop these aspects of your game, you will be able to break open the defence. This Asian style is missing now, which is hurting Indian hockey,” Thakur told SportsStar.

Thakur also talked about the former players like Prabhjot Singh, Dhanraj Pillay, and Gagan Ajit Singh who mastered the art of Asian hockey. According to Thakur, players like them should be brought into the coaching system of the Indian team for better results.

“Former players like Prabhjot Singh, Dhanraj Pillay and Gagan Ajit Singh were masters of Asian style hockey. They should be brought in to coach the national team in some capacity. This will be hugely beneficial, as we can get the best of both worlds,” the IOCL coach added.

“Money is being invested now. Though top facilities are not available at the grassroot level, it is good that it has come to the elite level. Everything is a lot more professional now — players earn good money, and we also have video analysts, physiotherapists and so on.”

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