Indian hockey players Shamsher and Hardik focus on execution skills ahead of Germany Pro League tie

India will play Germany in the double-leg tie at the Kalinga Stadium on March 12 and 13 before locking horns against Argentina on March 19 and 20.

FILE PHOTO: Shamsher Singh of the Indian men's hockey team.   -  THE HINDU

India will need to work on its execution skills and do away with the habit of conceding soft goals to taste success in a busy calendar year, that includes the Commonwealth Games and the Asiad, said Tokyo Olympic bronze medal-winning hockey players Shamsher Singh and Hardik Singh.

Eight-time champion India rewrote history at the Tokyo Games last year by winning an Olympic hockey medal after 41 years, defeating Germany 5-4 in the bronze medal contest.

But since then it has been a mixed bag for the Manpreet Singh-led side as it failed to defend its Asian Champions Trophy title in Dhaka and then slumped to 2-5 and 3-5 defeats at the hands of lower-ranked sides -- France and Spain -- in the FIH Pro League.

"Tactically, we played better than our first match against Spain in the last game. They scored some easy goals and we failed to avail our chances," striker Shamsher said in a virtual press conference on Friday.

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"We played well in all those matches, our speed was good, we also made comebacks, but conceded easy goals...We need to work on execution a bit more."

With Germany and Argentina waiting in the wings in its next FIH Pro League ties later this month, the Indians know it has very little time to pull up its socks.

India will play Germany in the double-leg tie at the Kalinga Stadium here on March 12 and 13 before locking horns against Argentina on March 19 and 20.

"My aim is to concentrate on my normal game, nothing extra whether it is Germany or any other team. Our focus is on ourselves," Hardik, a midfielder, said.

"We are working on the areas we need to improve...we will give our 100 per cent and look for good execution."

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