India’s hockey captain PR Sreejesh has said that he along with his team will give it their all to beat the Pakistan Team at the upcoming Asian Champions Trophy next month and beat them for ‘our soldiers’.
Though Sreejesh didn’t mention the recent Uri attack, he said he and his team would not want to disappoint the ‘Indian soldiers’ by losing against Pakistan.
“India-Pakistan match brings a lot of excitement to the table. We want to give hundred per cent. We don’t want to disappoint our soldiers by losing, especially when they sacrifice their lives in the exchange of fire at the borders.”
The Asian Champions Trophy will be played at Kuantan, Malaysia from October 20 onward with India set to face Pakistan on October 23 in their round-robin match.
The tournament would be played among the top six teams across the Asian continent and besides India and Pakistan, teams from Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and China would also be part of it.
While Pakistan is currently ranked much lower than India, Sreejesh believes that Pakistan has a special quality of ‘springing a surprise’ on any given day.
“We are better placed than Pakistan as we have been playing against top teams around the world. Pakistan on the other hand failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in their history. They are now playing totally a lower-grade hockey. That is what I feel. But they (Pakistan) have a strong mental attitude. They can beat any team anytime. That is their specialty.”
Sreejesh along with the rest of the Indian team are currently training at SAI center in Bengaluru and seem to be fresh and rejuvenated after a brief break. They had last played during the Rio Olympics, where they had finished eight.
The national hockey camp started on September 18 and is scheduled for a period of four weeks.
While India is going into the event as favourites to win, teams like host Malaysia and South Korea cannot be taken lightly.
“We cannot say that Asian Champions Trophy is that easy a contest. The Koreans are in the process of developing their team. Malaysia is working towards getting noticed at international level.” – Hockey Captain PR Sreejesh.