Harmanpreet: 'HIL helped us take on the best in the world'

India's Harmanpreet Singh has credited the Hockey India League (HIL) for allowing youngsters like him gain exposure to take on the best players in the world.

Harmanpreet Singh said execution of plans during the World Cup became easier due to exposure in the HIL.   -  K. Murali Kumar

India's Harmanpreet Singh has credited the Hockey India League (HIL) for allowing youngsters like him gain exposure to take on the best players in the world.

Harmanpreet, who plays for Dabang Mumbai in the HIL, said the league prepared him for the World Cup in several aspects of the game.

“The foreign players are very encouraging and they don’t hesitate in correcting our mistakes,” the 21-year-old said. “Getting to play against top players like Mark Knowles or Moritz Fuerste would also mean that I would have to get rid of the fear of playing against great players,” Singh said.

The different tactics that the coaches improvised on during the HIL also made coaches’ execution of the plans in the World Cup easier as the youngsters knew how to adapt to different situations and teams.

“Usually when we play different national teams, the coach brings in different tactics based on that particular opponent’s plus and minuses. Our planning for the Junior World Cup was also executed similarly and due to our exposure in the HIL where we learn to adapt to different variations in a very short span of time it just became a lot easier for us to execute the plans coach Roelant Oltmans had for us,” Singh added.