India’s hockey skipper Manpreet Singh feels Australia are not invincible

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India’s hockey skipper Manpreet Singh feels Australia are not invincible

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SportsCafe Desk


India skipper Manpreet Singh has stated that the way they’ve played Australia in recent times has given the side belief. He also spoke highly about former Australian drag-flicker Chris Ciriello, who has been roped in as an analytical expert, stating that the team has learnt a lot of things from him.

Indian hockey team beating Australia in major tournaments has always been a rare sight. They have not defeated the Kangaroos in the Olympics since 1972 with their only World Cup win dating as back as 1978. In the Commonwealth Games, Australia hold a demanding 5-0 record over India.

In recent times, however, India have been competitive against the mighty Australians. They have lost 2-4 in the recently concluded Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and drew 1-1 in the Hockey World League Finals. And, according to India skipper, Australia are not invincible as he feels that the recent results have given the team some confidence. 

“In the recent past, we have played out a draw in international competitions. It has given us the belief we can do better. It will be good if we achieve that goal in Australia,” Manpreet was quoted saying by Hindustan Times. 

Manpreet was also upbeat over the team’s build-up. There have been a lot of changes in training drills, which have changed the focus of players. They are seen to be fitter and more focused until the final seconds of the game. The skipper also said that the focus has been on positive thinking. 

“All the players have been asked to stay focused and think on winning lines throughout the game,” Manpreet added. 

Penalty corner has been another area of focus for the team management. Former Australian drag-flicker Ciriello has been recently appointed as the analytical expert till the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

“We are learning lots of new things from him (Chris Ciriello). It’s reflecting on the team performance,” the Indian skipper said. 

India start their CWG campaign on April 7 against arch-rivals Pakistan.

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