The Indian team goalkeeper, P Sreejesh, feels that the team needs tougher tests against the top teams to excel at next year’s Rio Olympics.
The team has to play against top teams like Australia and England to prepare well for the biggest competition. His main goal is to do well in the upcoming tournaments. The team did well by finishing 4th in the World Hockey League Semifinals. Hockey is a team game and he alone cannot bring a medal for the country, said Sreejesh. He went on to say that it is a huge honor to be awarded the Arjuna Award and he will be motivated to do well in the future tournaments.
The Indian team is ranked eighth in the world and one should not expect them to become overnight champions, but yes this team has the potential to beat any team on the day. No team is invincible in modern day hockey and India has defeated teams like Australia and New Zealand.
The Indian team needs more and experience of playing against the top teams. They need to fine tune their game. For e.g. taking correct decisions on crucial moments, maintain consistency and must handle pressure well. India must not put themselves under pressure in big matches. This will come with experience of playing more matches against big teams.
P Sreejesh said that it was good for India to qualify for the Rio Olympics but need to improve in many areas to come up with better results at the mega event – Rio Olympics.
The Indian team will tour New Zealand for a test series next month while host Australia in October. They will also feature in the World Hockey League finals to be held in Raipur, later this year.
Players are matured enough to not get affected by off-field controversies. They are focusing on field performances knowing how much important Olympics is for India as a nation. The team is together for almost two years, and there are no excuses for not getting their act together.
On a personal level, Sreejesh has been performing well in the recent past and has been the pillar for the Indian team saving many goals and has been considered the wall of Indian hockey.