The hockey World Cup may still be a couple of months away, but the Indian team has already started gearing up for the mega event, which gets underway in Bhubaneswar from November 28.
While team’s coach, Harendra Singh, makes it clear that he will create a pool of 24-26 players — from which the core group will be finalised — team’s young gun, Harmanpreet Singh, feels that it is important to work on the weak links ahead of the tournament.
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“There are times, when we lose despite playing well. We need to learn from our mistakes and ensure that we don’t repent later. There is time in hand, so it is important to do things perfectly,” Harmanpreet said on Friday on the sidelines of the team’s new jersey launch. The event was graced by legends like Ajit Pal Singh, Dhanraj Pillay, Ashok Kumar, Dileep Tirkey and Sandeep Singh.
While he admits that there are quite a few talented players in the group, Harmanpreet is not thinking too much about the team selection. “You need to believe in hard work. Selection is not in your hand. We need to focus on our job. The seniors and coaches are quite friendly and help us rejuvenate in different conditions,” he said.
Being a part of the Asian Games, Harmanpreet witnessed how the team suffered a defeat to Malaysia in the dying moments of the semifinal against Malaysia, thereby missing the chance to win gold. But he admits that the team members backed each other and ensured they bagged the bronze, beating Pakistan. “It was important to regroup and win bronze. Something is better than nothing. There was no pressure, but there are times when you need to play as per situation and we now know how to deal with that,” he said.
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