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Current team better prepared for Olympics, says Raghunath

Veteran drag-flicker Raghunath full of praise for current vice-captain Harmanpreet

Veteran India drag-flicker V.R. Raghunath thinks that the current team is better prepared for the Olympics than the side which finished eighth in the previous edition in Rio de Janerio.

India had lost to Belgium in the quarterfinals in the 2016 Summer Games. Raghunath is not in the list of Olympic probables this time.

“The Canada match which we drew cost us in 2016. That result put us in a different qualification group. But I feel the current batch of players can handle the Olympics a lot better.

“The same batch of players have been around for seven-eight years now, they are in touch with European players. They can perform much better than Rio,” said Raghunath in a Hockey India release.

At the Olympics, it is all about winning those close games, said Raghunath, who is currently the vice-president of Karnataka Hockey Association.

“It comes down to one or two matches and how you get your rhythm right in the arena. I have seen teams keeping it simple and playing with a free mind. I’d tell the players not to think much about the occasion.

The former Asian Games champion was full of praise for current vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh, who took over drag-flick duties from Raghunath.

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