Kolkata: Rueing the lack of good drag-flickers at the moment, former India captain Dilip Tirkey on Sunday said they had a good chance of winning the just concluded Hockey World Cup.
In their World Cup opener, India failed to convert three of the five penalty corners in their 5-0 win over South Africa in Bhubaneswar.
In the absence of Rupinder Pal Singh, India had three drag-flickers in Harmanpreet, Amit Rohidas and Varun Kumar but their conversion rate was poor.
“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 here.
The hosts made a quarterfinal exit despite topping their group.
Tirkey said the youngsters failed to live up to the expectations against the Netherlands as they 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.
He 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.