The ace defender also revealed that he expects the Chinese to give 100% against the Blue Tigers.
China host India at Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre in a friendly game to be played on 13th October. The game is set to be the first meeting between the two sides in the last 17 years. For India, playing against a quality higher-ranked opponent like China is of great importance as they prepare for the AFC Asian Cup, which begins in the UAE in January next year.
Ahead of the friendly, India international Sandesh Jhingan met the press in a media interaction in New Delhi on Monday, where he talked about India’s chances and the Asian Cup preparations among other things.
It has been a long time since India last played the Chinese and the gap between the two teams has somewhat been abridged. Jhingan is all but in awe of his next opponents as a team. The Kerala Blasters defender exclaimed, “Looking forward to it! After many years, India is going to play against China. They are a good side with a great coach and have received a lot of success recently and the squad, of course, is a very good squad.”
The defender could not resist from talking about the cash-rich league of China and it’s players. “The money coming into their league and the big players playing in their league – so they are a good team. They have just played Bahrain who are in our group in the Asian Cup. So, we are looking forward to it in preparation for the Asian Cup. They are one of the big teams in Asia and you need to play against big teams, so that you get to see yourself and improve from there,” said Jhingan.
The team has just got together after the first week of the Indian Super League and they are yet to study their opponents. Jhingan explained, “All the players were very busy with the league, and now we have got time. We have 3-4 days, which is enough to study them.”
Playing against a quality opponent like China before such an important tournament is important as the team would get to know the shortcomings in their game. So, Jhingan and the Indian team are not worried about the result, but want to play the way they have planned. Elaborating on the same the Indian centre-back detailed, “Results-wise, as a player, what I want from the team is to give our best. I expect them to give their 100%. The commitment and the desire should be second to none.”
“You have to understand why we are playing these games. The more you play, the more you improve – as a team and as an individual as well. The results I won’t say that they don’t matter, but in friendlies, the performance matters more – how we play as a team. We are playing to improve as a team,” Sandesh concluded.