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Home > Sports > Hockey > PTI > Report

Adrian was brilliant: Bhaskaran

June 25, 2006 20:10 IST

India achieved the pre-competition target of a podium finish and there was a settled look about the team. This is how coach Vasudevan Bhaskaran summed up his team's performance in the 15th Sultan Azlan Shah eight-nation hockey tournament, which concluded in Kuala Lumpur n Sunday.

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"We had set out to finish among the top three, and I am happy that we achieved it. Of course, there are a few gray areas that we need to work on, but, overall, the Indian team is shaping up well ahead of the World Cup in September," the coach said after India beat New Zealand 3-2 in the playoff for the third place.

He conceded that better finishing would have fetched a more comfortable victory for the Indians.

"We made some silly mistakes at the finish and wasted a lot of chances. I feel we should have scored at least three to four goals in the first-half and a couple more in the second," he added.

While reviewing the team's overall showing in the tournament, Bhaskaran praised goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza.

"I am extremely happy that Adrian has rediscovered his form and looks much more assured than at any time in the past. Today he was just brilliant and made quite a few saves," Bhaskaran said.

"This tournament was a learning process for all of us. We now have time to rectify our mistakes and improve before the World Cup. Maybe, a few exposure-cum-training tours will benefit the team," he added.

Asked about the indifferent form of striker Gagan Ajit Singh, the coach defended the forward saying: "I do agree that he is not in the best form; but, then, I reckon he is still a dangerous player and if he works on his fitness, I feel he will be back in top form for the World Cup."

Incidentally, Bhaskaran was the coach of the Indian team that finished third in this tournament in 2000.

© Copyright 2006 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

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Number of User Comments: 1

Sub: Adrian was brilliant: Bhaskaran !

Best wishes to Team India in the tournaments to come.

Posted by Dr. Cajetan Coelho



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