The 28-year-old will lead the team for the first time in his career.

The Indian men’s hockey team will go up against England in their upcoming FIH Pro League matches. India will play two matches against the visitors on 2nd and 3rd April at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. While the Indians have an opportunity to go top of the table with a victory under the captaincy of Amit Rohidas, the English side will look for a resurgence after their last two defeats against Argentina.

Before the important games, Amit Rohidas and vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh joined the media to share their thoughts. They spoke extensively on different facets of the game, including their form and chance to go top of the table. Here are the excerpts:

On Harmanpreet’s good run of form

Star Indian drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh has been a thorn in the flesh for the opposition. He is currently the top scorer in the tournament, with 10 goals and his presence would greatly help India’s chances of winning the matches. “Everything is going well right now, so we are happy with our performance. Our team is executing things according to plan. The more matches we play and the more chances we get, will be beneficial for our growth,” said the humble Harmanpreet, focusing more on the team rather than himself as an individual.

“It’s not that we are not making mistakes, but we are also learning from them, which will be helpful in the long run. We want to get better with every match. It is also important that the youngsters in the team get a chance to showcase their skills on a world stage. This will prepare our team for the next mega tournaments and will benefit us immensely,” concluded the introspective vice-captain.

Tough matches for Team India

India are currently in the second spot, behind Germany, with 16 points in the FIH Pro League table. A victory here would push the Indian men to the top spot in the tournament. Speaking on the impending matches with England, captain Amit Rohidas talked about his team’s morale and how they view the visiting side.

“No, we are not feeling any sort of pressure at all. We are going to go out there, implement our planning and try to beat England. We have played with them before and we know how tough it will be for us. I remember what a difficult game we played against them in the quarter-finals of the Tokyo Olympics. So, it won’t be easy at all considering our side has a lot of new players. They will come at us with full firepower. We have to be wary of that and focus on our gameplan,” said a confident Amit Rohidas.

England’s captain Tom Sorsby also spoke to the media. He shared his views on how the team plans on recovering from their last two losses.

“It’s important to know where we are as a group. It’s a new team that is coming together and we are finding our ways. We showed what we can do against Spain. Even against Argentina, we had some good parts in the game. So, we are taking the positives from the games against Argentina and the two wins against Spain with us, as we prepare for India,” concluded Tom Sorsby.

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