The 19-year-old is trying hard to be a regular member of the team.
Indian women’s hockey team forward Sharmila Devi has been proving her mettle in every opportunity she gets. Be it her first outing for India at the Tokyo Test Event in 2019 or the FIH Olympic Qualifiers where she showed her raw talent by scoring an important goal against USA which propelled the team’s 5-1 victory in the first match.
“I played my first match for the senior side in 2019 and ever since then, I have been getting fantastic exposure with the team and I am happy to receive these opportunities and want to make each one count,” expressed Sharmila Devi.
In India’s recent tour to Argentina, she scored twice for India in low-scoring games that proved crucial for the team against a top-quality side like Argentina who are ranked No. 2 in the world.
She remarked, “The Indian Team was playing against Argentina after nearly four years. The senior players who had previously played against Argentina in 2017 recalled how strong a team they are and how important it is for us to execute our plans perfectly.”
“Though we were quite effective against them and came very close to winning, I felt we should work a lot more on converting opportunities in the circle. We were making enough and more circle entries but were unable to convert.”
The young forward from Hisar, Haryana lauded the efforts of Hockey India in ensuring the tour was well organised despite these trying circumstances due to the pandemic. She also feels this exposure in Argentina will hold in good stead as the team prepares for the prestigious Olympic Games.
Sharmila Devi stated, “Playing in Argentina was a very different experience. The opponent was no doubt very challenging, which made this tour exciting, but the way everything was organized and playing in a bio-secure bubble was a different experience altogether. Even the hotel we stayed at took extra care in ensuring our comforts and the food was suitable to our palate which is rarely ever the case when we travel.”
“We are very grateful to Hockey India for ensuring a safe environment for us to compete. Though we are disappointed we didn’t secure a win, the lessons from this exposure will help us prepare best for the Olympic Games,” she concluded.