India suffered a quarter-final exit in the recently concluded Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar. The hosts were outplayed by the Netherlands in the knockout stage of the tournament. One of the reasons behind India's ouster was the team's inability to convert penalty corners. Former India skipper Dilip Tirkey on Sunday said that India currently lack good drag-flickers, highlighting that the team needs to improve on this front. "We need to have world-class flickers. We presently have Harmanpreet, Amit Rohidas and Varun. We have to focus on them. We need to have a 60-70 per cent conversion rate in important matches," Tirkey said, on the sidelines of the Beighton Cup tournament.
Along with that, Tirkey added that the youngsters failed to live up to expectations against the Netherlands and missed a golden chance to win the World Cup.
"I feel our youngsters could not play as per their standards. Otherwise team's performance was very good. There was some good tackling. It's bad luck that we could not live up to the expectations in the quarters. Overall it was a good show. I feel we missed the World Cup.
"After a long time, we saw development in Indian hockey team. With a lot of talented youngsters, we looked fit. We drew Belgium in the league stage," he said pointing out to the 2-2 draw against the champions.
Tirkey backed India coach Harendra Singh to do a fine job. "Harendra Singh is doing extremely well with the team. We lost to Australia in the shootout (Champions Trophy). It was an impressive show (at the World Cup).
"All the foreign coaches have their contribution for the Indian team but as of now, Harendra Singh is the best coach for the Indian team. We need to work on this Indian team," he said hailing the 2016 Junior World Cup winning coach.
(With IANS Inputs)