New Delhi :The Indian hockey team maybe virtually out of the semifinal contention in the ongoing World Cup but Sports Minister MS Gill is happy with the commitment of the players.
"I saw their matches and we played really well in the first match against Pakistan. We did not win the next two matches but I think win and loss are part and parcel of any game and they showed a lot of commitment," Gill told reporters after releasing his book "Himalayan Wonderland".
"This team has the talent and probably they need improvement. But I'm not disappointed at all. I'm rather content with their commitment. The boys gave their best and you cannot expect more," Gill said.
The minister was also happy with the way local crowd have behaved in the World Cup so far.
"I'm really happy to see the way entire crowd in the National Stadium stood to honour the Pakistani national anthem. Even the players showed a lot of sportsman spirit and played a game which was clean and fair.
"After the match, some of the retired Pakistani players had no qualms admitting the Indians played better than them in that match. Both sides showed sportsman spirit and this is how it should be," Gill said.
After the fairytale 4-1 win over Pakistan, India crashed to a morale-shattering 2-5 defeat against Australia before slumping to their second successive loss against Spain last night.
"Australia simply took us by surprise and just didn't allow to settle down. I think in the last 10-14 minutes of the first half, the Indian players put a lot of pressure on the Australians even though it was not enough," Gill said.
Gill said the successful hosting of the ongoing World Cup and the Commonwealth Shooting Championship have allayed all fears about the timely completion of the venues which would be used for the Commonwealth Games in October.
"Since last year, I have been assuring all that stadia would be ready well in time and now you have it there. The Australians admitted the shooting range in Tughlakabad is the best in the world and (International Hockey Federation president Leandro) Negre calls National Stadium the best hockey stadium in the world," Gill said.