India will be among top four, hopes Riyaz

RIYAZUDDIN, ONLY member in the national basketball team from Madhya Pradesh, arrived in the City today after his brilliant individual performance at the Commonwealth Games that concluded recently in Australia.

india Updated: Mar 31, 2006 01:00 IST

RIYAZUDDIN, ONLY member in the national basketball team from Madhya Pradesh, arrived in the City today after his brilliant individual performance at the Commonwealth Games that concluded recently in Australia.

He was Vice Captain of the team. Talking to the media persons here today, the 24-year-old Riyaz said that the basketball players in India had received good exposure in last few years. “This was for the first time that Indian basketball team participated in the Commonwealth Games and gave tough fight to the other participating nations”, said young Riyaz. His highest score was 29 points against Nigeria.

On being asked about the performance of the team in the international tournaments, he said the seventh position among Asian Countries itself suggests that we have been performing well. “My expectation is that India will be among top four teams in the near future”, said Riyaz.

He was satisfied with his performance in Commonwealth Games, but added that there was room for improvement. “I need to improve shooting percentage. I could convert 70 per cent shoots in the matches,” he opined.

The Vice Captain was of the opinion that Indian players are technically sound but find themselves at disadvantage while playing against teams like Australia and New Zealand on account of their weak physique.

“We are excellent in technique but the good height and strong physique of the players of Australia and other countries put us at disadvantage while playing against them,” said Riyaz.

Citing the example of Chinese players, he said that the same strategy could be applied here also. “There was no name of China in basketball few years back but the regular fitness work has made the team best in Asia”, he suggested.

First Published: Mar 31, 2006 01:00 IST