India have to prove their mettle against Pak: Gill | india | Hindustan Times
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India have to prove their mettle against Pak: Gill

india Updated: Feb 27, 2010 22:52 IST

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Hosts India will face tough test of co-ordination, rhythm and mental toughness when they take on arch-rivals Pakistan in their World Cup campaign opener here tomorrow, feels former chief of now defunct Indian Hockey Federation KPS Gill.

Gill, whose 15-year tenure as the hockey boss came to an unceremonious end after Indian Olympic Association suspended IHF in 2008, was happy with national team's recent performance but reminded that it will not be a cakewalk for Rajpal Singh's men.

"The match between India and Pakistan is like a test of proper coordination, rhythm and mental toughness. Only best team will win the match. I am hopeful that India will play good hockey tomorrow and start their campaign on a winning note," Gill said.

"I want team India to play against Pakistan with full force and energy. I think, neither India nor Pakistan is under any kind of pressure. The best side will win tomorrow," Gill said on the sideline of a photo exhibition by sports filmmaker Sunil S Kalra.

Gill also praised the national coach Jose Brasa for doing a "lot of goods" to the national team.

"Team India is currently playing well under the coaching of Brasa. He has done a lot of goods to the Indian team."
Gill, however, was reluctant to say anything about the alleged mismanagement in Hockey India on the eve of World Cup.

"Mismanagement in Hockey India is not the issue to be discussed at this moment. The World Cup is beginning tomorrow and I don't want to give any negative thought, no negative talk, which may have a bad impact on team India," Gill said.

Meanwhile, hockey legend Balbir Singh (Senior) had no doubt that India have the wherewithal to win the World Cup.

"Good luck to India. There is no pressure on any side as no world like arch-rivals exists -- its all about better co-ordination and technique which determine the winner. I believe India can win the tournament.

"India should show good temperament and better technique tomorrow. The team which gets maximum possession of the ball will win, so fitness is very important and will be counted at the end of the day," Singh said.