Indian chief coach and high-performance director Roelant Oltmans on Tuesday said the national hockey team’s bilateral series victory over New Zealand has proved that it is moving in the right direction. Asian Games 2014 champions India lost the first match but won the next two and drew the final match to claim the series 2-1. Prior to that, they also defeated the host’s A side to mark a successful Kiwi tour. “The team performed exceptionally well in the New Zealand Tour which proves that our players are ready to take on greater challenges,” Oltmans said in a release. 

“The highlight was that we played an attacking game throughout the tour and did not lose our possession easily which will definitely boost our preparations for the Hero Hockey World League (HWL) Final scheduled to take place towards the end of this year,” the Dutchman added. “I hope the team does its best and display high-level performances.” Skipper Sardar Singh also echoed the sentiments of his illustrious 61-year-old tactician. “We are in high spirits after the historic series win against a team which is ranked higher to us and the team has shown that they are ready to take on tougher opponents,” Sardar said after landing here from New Zealand.

“After losing the first game against New Zealand, our team did not lose its focus and managed to win the series which proves that the team has nerves of steel. We look forward to the upcoming Hero HWL Final to be held later in the year.” The HWL Final starts on November 28 with Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Britain and the Netherlands taking part in it.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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