Hockey World Cup 2018: India can go all the way, says Glenn Turner

Australian hockey legend Glenn Turner believes a 'fit, sharp and fast' Indian team is capable of clinching the top honour at the World Cup.

Glenn Turner: "Some of the other teams are not looking as fit as them (India) at this stage."   -  special arrangement

Winning a World Cup is an achievement. To win two, back-to-back, is legendary. Glenn Turner is one of the few from Australia’s golden generation to do so and now, the 34-year-old is hoping the defending champion completes a rare hat-trick in Bhubaneswar.

But he also believes India is in a good spot to go all the way. While the manner in which he breaks down the route ahead appears simple enough, it isn’t as easy.

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“It’s about being ready for your chances because, in big games, they don’t come too often. If you are ready and know they are coming, then you have a good chance of scoring. Also, don’t get too nervous during the game about scoring and doing extra things.

"Just take it back to basics, get to the good spots and make the good receives, be strong on the ball and rest, instincts will take over. And their instincts and skills are some of the best in the world,” is his brief advice to the team.

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India is most likely to face Holland in the quarterfinals, a game that holds much more significance for the host than the three-time winner.

“That will be a big game, the winner can definitely win the competition. I think India is building nicely, they are playing well and look fit, sharp and fast. Some of the other teams are not looking as fit as them at this stage.

"Then again, it comes down to moments in big games, like PCs and whether it’s scoring or defending. The other night (against Canada) they had their chances early and they missed a couple. But you don’t want to wait too long in big games,” he advised.

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Asked what was the one thing the team needed to guard against, Turner warned, “I think they need to guard against playing with ego. If you play trying to impress the crowd or trying to score yourself then you are not thinking about your job. If there is a better option, pass the ball; if not, then do your thing. It’s hard with the massive crowd going for you but then again, as a player, you can use the crowd as an advantage but don’t get overawed by it or try to impress them too much."

Turner, who spent a week with the women’s side in Bengaluru as part of the IOC solidarity programme, was all praise for the girls. “They were really humble and willing to learn, which as a coach, is really important. Hopefully, they have learnt a lot and can start scoring a lot of goals. We had a lot of sessions about previous games, watched and analysed what they did with the ball in the circle, worked on drills in training and tried new things and ways to make scoring a bit more easy and calmer under pressure,” he explained.