“It is surely a positive result for the team. Everyone in the world including Australia would not have have thought of this outcome, although they are in the process of rebuilding after the World Cup,” Oltmans told PTI on Tuesday after the squad returned home following a 3-1 win in the four-match test series.

Asked how he rated the result, the Dutchman said: “All the 21 players played and the outcome is good. But we have to be realistic on what it means. Does it mean too much than just a series win against Australia? I would say if we are able to beat Australia in Champions Trophy, then we can say we have taken major steps forward,” said the renowned expert.

Oltmans was quick to add that December 6—14 Champions Trophy in Bhubaneshwar will be a much tougher test for the team. India are in Pool B alongside Netherlands, Germany and Argentina in the eight-nation tournament.

“It (Champions Trophy) is a competition lot different than a friendly series. We are in a group having Germany and surprise of World Cup Argentina, so it will be tough from day one. After a short break, we will resume training for the tournament,” he said, while choosing not to talk about the target for the premier event.

“I know that you guys always want to talk about the outcome. The important thing for me is that the team is showing steady progress. There is still lot of time left to talk about the outcome anyway.”

Oltmans felt India executed their plans better than Australia, who are in a transitional phase, after their World Cup triumph.

“All these boys, who were playing for Australia, were probables who can make the Champions Trophy. They have not played much together but it was surely not a second string side,” pointed out Oltmans.

Indians are often found wanting against the speed of top teams such as Australia, Netherlands and Germany.

Asked to dissect the performance of the team, Oltmans said he was not outright surprised at the win.

“I have said it from the beginning that they have a lot of potential, though you can see the issue is to translate potential into performance at the highest level.

“The domestic tournaments in India are a different ball game. Guys who are with us recognise the difference and they know what they need to be doing to overcome the gap between international and domestic hockey,” said Oltmans.

He hoped for more bilateral series of this nature leading to the Rio Olympics in 2016.

“The team is getting better in execution of skills. We were able to hold possession better than before, especially when you playing against a team like Australia, there is a lot of pressure on defence, and that can lead to loss of possession.

“I must tell you that our boys are now able to control the ball more. In the first game, we didn’t do that and therefore we lost (0—4). After that, there was gradual progression,” Oltmans concluded.

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