Indian team keen to end drought at 2023 World Cup of Hockey

After an impressive runner-up in the CWG, the Indian hockey team are keen to make up for the disappointment of the 2018 FIH World Cup in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The Indian team will face England, Spain and Wales in Group D of the FIH Odisha Bhubaneswar-Rourkela World Cup of Hockey 2023.

The Indian team are lucky to have a golden opportunity to set the record straight in front of home fans, says experienced striker Lalit Upadhyay. “Unfortunately, we conceded a goal in the dying minutes of the previous World Cup quarter-final in Bhubaneswar, but since then the team has improved by leaps and bounds, and we are seen as serious contenders for the Our goal now is to take advantage of the home crowd to put on a scintillating performance and hopefully a medal,” he said.

Lalit Upadhyay made his national team debut in 2014 and racked up 31 goals in 133 caps with him Mandeep Singh lead the forward line of the team. “I’m very proud to wear the Indian shirt every time I step onto the pitch, always keeping in mind that this could very well be the last time I experience this. When I arrived, I worked very hard to make my place in the team and I have worked on my physical form to match the level of the team.Over the past few years I have gained more consistency in my game and I am proud of to be considered one of the senior players in the team and to take on the added responsibilities that come with that,” Lalit said on his journey away.

When asked how he helps the young players in the team, he said: “It’s important to help them build their combination and make decisions with the team. If we understand this, it will be easier to deceive opposing defenders and we will achieve the desired result. The only way to build that understanding is to start playing as a team, for the team, and not take all the pressure to score goals on your own.

Ahead of their World Cup campaign on home soil, they will face Spain and New Zealand in the FIH Hockey Pro League matches to be played in Odisha from October 28. Preparation for these matches is in full swing at SAI Bengaluru.

“We have positive momentum from the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics. The general public’s awareness of hockey over the past few years is a real motivation for us to give the best of ourselves at camp and at the World Cup. We have been working on areas that we believe need improvement in our training sessions, meetings and review videos with the aim of improving as a team and individually so that we contribute our best to the team and that we perform well. With the help of our supporters, we want to get rid of the World Cup repechage,” he concluded.

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