Newly-appointed national hockey coach Vasudevan Bhaskaran's first goal should be winning the gold medal at the Asian Games in Doha in December, says former Olympian Vece Paes.
"It's a good decision by the Indian Hockey Federation to appoint Bhaskaran as coach. He has past experience of the job, though I know him only as a player. His past record as coach was quite good," Paes said, on the sidelines of the India-Pakistan Davis Cup play-off tie in Mumbai on Thursday.
"The first aim for Bhaskaran is to restore the Indian team's confidence level, and that can be done only by making it get back to winning ways.
"The best way to get back to winning ways is by taking part in some low-key tournaments. The Asian Games, which essentially is a three-horse race among India, Pakistan and Korea, is perhaps the ideal tournament to do this. By winning it, the revival could be kick-started," Paes, a member of India's bronze medal-winning team of the 1972 Munich Olympics said.
Another issue Bhaskaran needs to address, said Paes, is consistency in selection.
"He should identify about 20 or 25 players and convince the selection committee to rotate them. Far too many changes have been noticed of late for the team's well-being," Paes asserted.
"I am happy to say that despite the domination of cricket, and to some extent football, there's still a lot of young players taking up the game. It's important to revive the nationals too. That's where new talent comes from," he pointed out.