Striker Akashdeep Singh said that the Indian team realises the importance of the upcoming Hockey World League semifinals although it doesn’t have to worry about Olympic qualification in the competition beginning on Saturday.
“We realise the importance of this tournament as the outcome from here will chalk out the future course of action in terms of team combinations, how good will the present strategy work for us in the long run, and which are the areas that need immediate attention,” said Akashdeep.
“Each player is aware of this and is ensuring that he has to do his job as there is very less scope for mistakes. We, as a team, have reached a point where we have to grow and become strong,” he added.
India qualified for the Rio Olympics by winning the Asian Games gold in Incheon, South Korea. It plays its first match against France on Saturday while the women meet Belgium on the same day.
The Olympic qualification is at stake for the women’s team.
“Everyone’s responsibility is defined and we have to stand up to it now. We have to ensure we do not lose possession on the ball easily and if this happens we are aware of our positions while even ensuring we create opportunities for each other for the crucial quick passes. The idea is just not adding to the number of circle penetrations but to see that we hit the target and score the goals,” said Vandana Kataria.