Indian team Drag-flicker specialist Raghunath has said that the hockey team will shine in the upcoming Champions Trophy tournament to be held in London from 4th June to 12th June. 5 top teams in the world will participate in the tournament which will be good chance for the Indian team to get better prepared for Rio Olympics.
“Ever since the Asian Games gold in 2014, the team has started to believe in itself again. We never wanted to come down from that stage and only wanted to climb up. We had a ranking of 12-13 before 2014. Recently we were placed No.6 and currently we are ranked No.7 in the world. No opponent takes us lightly anymore and they talk about us as a team that does well in knockouts,” Raghunath said in a statement.
“I believe we have a bright chance and we are moving in the right direction for the upcoming tournaments,” the 27-year-old added.
The Indian team finished second in the recently concluded Sultan Azlan Shah tournament. “Nobody can take their place in the Indian team for granted, you have to constantly prove yourself. Anyone who performs well will be in the squad and personally for me, I would like to test myself against big teams like Australia, Germany, and Netherlands in the upcoming tournaments and analyse my performance.
“The priority will be to convert maximum penalty corners so that my team is in a comfortable spot in the first two-quarters,” he added.
“I feel we are best prepared than ever before for a big tournament, be it physically, mentally or even psychologically. We not only focus on improving individually but also encourage each other and tell ourselves that we need to perform as a unit to leave a mark at the Olympics this time,” the drag-flicker said.