Tokyo Olympics: Defender Surendra Kumar confident of India’s performance despite lack of international matches

Tokyo Olympics: Defender Surendra Kumar confident of India's performance despite lack of international matches
Tokyo Olympics: Defender Surendra Kumar confident of India's performance despite lack of international matches

Tokyo Olympics: Defender Surendra Kumar confident of India’s performance despite lack of international matches- The Indian men’s hockey team will travel to Tokyo without playing any competitive matches before the mega event. The last time India played against Argentina was in the month of April. However, the Indian team’s defender Surendra Kumar has expressed that lack of international games will not affect the team’s performance.

“It does make a difference, getting international matches, But it shouldn’t affect us,” said defender Surender Kumar, while talking to Times of India.

Surender completed a decade in the international arena this year.

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Earlier this month, India hockey coach Graham Reid was very disappointed when the International Hockey Federation announced that the team’s Pro League fixtures against Spain and Germany have been postponed. Amid the second wave of coronavirus in Indian many countries including the UK, Spain and Germany restricted the entry for Indian citizen.

India’s Pro League games were postponed after the UK government decision to red flag India amid rising Covid-19 cases in the country. As a result, India’s other two European fixtures in the PL, against Spain and Germany, this month have also been postponed.

The Indians last played an international fixture against Argentina in Buenos Aires on April 10 and 11.

However, the Indian team is training really hard which will help them get over the lack of international matches before the Olympics.

Surender said that the team is trying to simulate Tokyo conditions as much as it can during the camp. “We are also simulating during practice, like playing at the same time that we will play our games in Tokyo. However, still, there’s nothing like getting to play international matches. But even if not, we are practising in a way that doesn’t affect us. The tempo with which we play matches, we maintain it during our practice sessions; and our GPS [device] tells us the intensity of our practice drills,” the 27-year-old said.

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Surender survived a complication after recovering from Covid-19 last year as he developed a clot in his right arm.

“Every team targets gold. No team goes to the Olympics just to participate. We will be no different, but we are not looking that far-right at the start. We have a match-by-match, step-by-step approach,” he added

India is with Australia, defending champions Argentina, Spain, New Zealand and hosts Japan in Pool A. Pool B comprises world No. 1 Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Canada and South Africa. India will play their opening match against New Zealand on July 24.

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