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FIH Men's Hockey World Cup 2023: Pumped up for the opening game against Spain, says Sukhjeet Singh
1/2/2023 10:39:14 PM

NEW DELHI, Jan 2: The Indian men's hockey team will draw on its experience of playing against Spain and England in the FIH Pro League and Wales in the Commonwealth Games to negotiate their way into the group stage of the World Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela beginning this month India forward Sukhjeet Singh said while there were a lot of positives to take away from the five-Test away series against Australia, there were also several key areas that need attention.
India is hosting the World Cup from January 13 to 29 with 16 teams competing in the global event. The hosts are placed in Group D alongside England, Spain and Wales.
In our Pool, we have Spain, England, and Wales. We played against Spain and England in the Pro League last year. We also faced off against Wales at the Commonwealth Games 2022 (in Birmingham). So, we will be looking back at those performances and pick out the positives and negatives to prepare ourselves accordingly," Sukhjeet said in a Hockey India statement.
India will open their campaign against Spain on January 13 and have been training in Rourkela since December 27.
Sukhjeet, who will be playing in his first World Cup, added, "We played a five-match Test series against Australia. While plenty of positives came out from the tour, there were still a few areas where we felt we could improve. So, we are working on those areas in the training."
Sukhjeet did not give too much insight when asked about the team's training drills under chief coach Graham Reid, only saying the side is focusing on strengthening some areas where it has struggled during the series against Australia in November-December. India lost the closely-contested rubber 1-4.
"I am delighted and thankful to Reid, who gave me this opportunity to be a part of the squad, after seeing my performances over the past year," said Sukhjeet. Sukhjeet made his senior debut in February last year, in the Pro League 2021-22 contest against Spain, and scored a goal. Since then, he has earned 16 caps and has scored four goals. The 26-year-old also gave an insight into the mood of the team ahead of the World Cup.
"There is true team spirit among everyone in the camp. We all are really pumped up to get the ball rolling in our first game against Spain. Everyone is feeling positive and is supportive of each other. There is a real sense of unity which is exciting to see," he said.
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