With exactly 100 days to go for the postponed Tokyo Olympics, there is renewed hope that the Indian men’s hockey team can recreate the magic of old after their heartening performance against Olympic champions Argentina in the FIH Pro League in Buenos Aires.
India captain Manpreet Singh agreed that the sky is the limit for his side as it has a good mix of youth and experience in its ranks going into this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
“It was good to be back playing international hockey after a long time,” said Manpreet. “I’m very happy with the progress of the team over the last 18 months. If we continue to build on this, I am sure we can defeat any team. The team spirit is high right now and as I said before, we should use every opportunity we get before the Olympics to fine-tune our game.
“The youngsters in the team have come a long way. I’m hoping this form continues and we put a much better display than what we’d managed in the Rio Olympics,” said the India team skipper, whose only blemish on the tough Argentina tour has been a 1-0 loss to the host in the third practice game on Tuesday.
India are clubbed with hosts Japan, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and Spain in Group A at the Tokyo Olympics.
Manpreet was happy with the way the team has emerged out of the pandemic-hit season. “After the lockdown, the tour of Europe at the start of 2021 went to plan under chief coach Graham Reid. Under him, India found a new-found solidity,” said Manpreet, whose team will play the fourth practice match against Argentina later on Wednesday.