Sreejesh aims to win World Cup

The elevation of the Indian team to the fifth spot will inspire it to perform well in the upcoming tourneys, says the captain.

Eye on the prize: "We want to finish as title winner in our backyard," says P. R. Sreejesh.

India's elevation to fifth spot in world rankings will inspire it to perform well in the upcoming Asian Games and FIH World Cup, captain P. R. Sreejesh has said.

“The elevation gives us a big boost to do well in the upcoming 18th Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta and the World Cup in Bhubaneswar. We want to finish as title winner in our backyard,” he said on the sidelines of the ongoing national camp at SAI centre in Bengaluru.

Sreejesh believes the Asian Games will be totally different from Champions Trophy because the participating nations’ style of hockey is different from that of European countries. Apart from playing against Pakistan, India will face the challenge of Korea and Malaysia, whose standard of hockey is completely different, Sreejesh said.

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Sreejesh said nothing has changed ever since he made a comeback as a captain because he was doing his duty as a senior player. “Being a goalkeeper I speak to defenders and midflielders during games. I support them and that is what I am doing earlier will do in future,” he said.

Shared responsibility

Sreejesh said he shoulders more responsibility off the field to keep the players united and do more team-bonding activities, which have to be fun, not formal. He is not the captain, he says, when he takes the field, but just a goalkeeper, and the responsibilities are distributed among the players.

“We distribute responsibility in the team. Among the defenders, Harmanpreet, Birendra, Bob (Rupinder) have to take leadership. Among midfielders, Manpreet and Sardar, even Chinglensana, have to take the lead,” he said.

“In the forward line, Sunil, Akash and Mandeep are there to take responsibility. So, it is my duty to give life to my team, and on the field I am just a goalkeeper saving post,” he added.

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