New Delhi: Legendary Australian forward Jamie Dwyer feels that Indian Hockey team has naturally talented players who just need good game plan to be among the top teams of the world.
"The Indian team has very naturally talented players and among them Rupinder Pal Singh has impressed me the most. They also have a very good coach so I`m curious to see how they will go this year," Dwyer told PTI Bhasha.
"I think Indian team must have a very good game plan for the different opponents against whom they will play. They need to prepare better than they have ever prepared before, physically and mentally," he added when asked about his suggestions for Sardar Singh and co.
He also feels that Hockey is gaining its ground in India and it is good to see huge crowd in stadiums in smaller centres.
"Taking hockey into rural areas in India is great. I think the champions trophy this year in Bhubaneswar will attract huge crowds," said the experienced forward, who won the FIH player of the year award five times.
Earlier, several top coaches including Australian coach Ric Charlesworth have criticized the lack of spactators during FIH tournaments in Delhi.
"Hockey is gaining its ground in India. The numbers are showing that it is. Roughly 22 million people watch each game of the HHIL this year compared to 8 million last year. Huge increase it is," said the captain of table-topper JP Punjab Warriors.
Post HHIL, the legendary Australian striker will be busy with his national team as it is an important year for Hockey where Australia will try to defend WC and CWG titles.
"It`s a huge year for hockey. The World Cup is going to be an amazing event and I hope Aussies play well and make it to the final. Commonwealth games will also be great. Both events will be awesome and I`m really looking forward to them," Dwyer said denying any plans to retire in near future.
"Not sure yet when that day will come. At the moment, I`m concentrating on improving my game and enjoying my hockey," said the 35-year-old veteran when asked about his retirement plans.
He is also happy with Punjab`s performance and praised drag-flicker Sandeep Singh whom they bought this year from Mumbai Magicians.
"I`m very satisfied with the performance so far but there is still a lot of room for improvement. I hope we play well this weekend. Sandeep has played his role well in our team. He is scoring Corners and he is defending well," he said.
He also said that second season of the league has been better than the inaugural one.
"This one has been better by a long way. It has been promoted and marketed better. The tv footage is better and the addition of a new team ( Kalinga Lancers) has also been great," said the Olympic and WC gold medalist.