New Delhi:Former players heaped praise on the Indian hockey team for thumping arch-rivals Pakistan 4-1 in their high-voltage opener in the World Cup.
India controlled most part of the Pool B match yesterday with superb running and passing, having the upper hand in all departments of the game.
Former World Cupper and Olympian Aslam Shaer Khan was at loss of words for the Indian team for taking the game to a higher level.
"It was the best match against Pakistan in a long time. The boys raised the game to a higher level. It was really satisfying to have won against Pakistan with 4-1 margin. It augurs well for Indian hockey," he said.
"India has now a good chance to qualify for the semifinals from the pool and from there will be a new level of the tournament. Credit also goes to coach Jose Brasa for moulding the team into such a well-oiled and fighting unit," he added.
Aslam, who was part of India's lone World Cup winning team in 1975, said the midfield made all the difference.
"Absolutely, it was the midfield supremacy which made it easy for India to stamp its authority on the Pakistanis. Though the defence was also good but it was the superb show by the midfield that fed the forward-line constantly," said Aslam who was one of the selectors after the dissolution of the erstwhile Indian hockey federation.
Former captain Zafar Iqbal went a step further and said that the Indian domination was such that Pakistan looked like a state team.
"India played remarkable hockey yesterday, They completely dominated the match. They made Pakistan look like a state team," he said.
"It was a team effort but Sandeep Singh was outstanding. He converted both the penalty corners to make the difference," said Zafar, who is a government nominee in the national selection panel.