The Indian players spoke to the media ahead of crucial matches against Germany.

Indian women’s hockey team forward Vandana Katariya, midfielder Navjot Kaur and defender and drag-flick specialist Gurjit Kaur sat with the media to talk about the state of the sport in India.

They also shared their views on the new additions to the Indian hockey team, their preparations for the matches against Germany and the areas they need to work on to get better at the international level. Indian forward Sangita Kumari made her debut against Spain in their last fixture. However, the debutant hardly showed any nerves. She was excellent from the get-go.

Proficient in attack, she effortlessly penetrated the opposition defence to mark her debut with a goal. When asked about her abilities on the field her fellow striking partner Vandana had nothing but praise for the youngster.

“Sangita is a very good player and has a bright future ahead of her. She played the game beautifully and scored an exquisite goal in her debut match. I think she will really do wonders for our team in the future. She will only grow with experience,” added the veteran striker.

Upcoming games against Germany

On the other hand, midfielder Navjot Kaur gave an insight into the team’s training regime. India will face Germany in the FIH Hockey Pro League this weekend and are preparing to give their best against a higher-ranked opponent.

Navjot Kaur remarked, “We are playing Germany this weekend and we plan to do well. We hope to play and finish as a team, as we did against Spain. Our team also have to prepare ahead of our next games against England, which will take place in April.”

“The team is focusing on set-pieces at the moment and we hope that we will fare better in both the games ahead of us,” added the confident Navjot Kaur. Win against Germany and England will also strengthen India’s position in the points table.

On team’s defensive lapses

The Indian hockey team had managed to keep quite a clean defensive record at the start of the tournament, but all that changed in their last match against Spain. The hosts not only lost the match but also conceded four goals in the process, eventually losing out that game 3-4 at the hands of the visiting team.

Indian defender Gurjit Kaur spoke about it and addressed the situation. The drag-flicker stated, “The goals we conceded against Spain were due to a lack of communication among the players. The referee suddenly called a foul and then Spain carried on the game, while we were taking positions to defend the goal. It was an error and a silly mistake on our part, one that cannot be repeated and that is exactly what we plan to do in our next games.”

Message to other women around the globe

The Women in Blue also shared their message to women around the globe on the occasion of International Women’s Day. The Indian players stressed on the importance of self-belief and how it helps to bring out the best in you. “We need to have self-belief. It is very important no matter what we do, it is of great importance. It can be sports, studies or anything,” said Navjot Kaur.

“I totally agree with Navjot and second the motion completely. There will always be a lot of negativity around you, more so if you are a woman. The key is to ignore it and listen to your heart. That is what will get us through the difficult phases,” concluded Vandana Kataria.

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