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Exclusive Interview with SV Sunil: Speed is my lethal weapon

Indian hockey forward SV Sunil spoke about the team's performances in the Champions Trophy, the HIL and the Rio Olympics in an interview.

FEATURED COLUMNIST
Exclusive 06 Jan 2015, 13:11 IST
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SV Sunil has been a rising star of Indian hockey in recent times

SV Sunil was really one of the finds of India at the 2014 FIH Champions Trophy as well as during the four Test series in Australia. The 25-year-old Coorg lad is probably in the best form of his life and it showed as he strung up crucial passes as well as scoring on a consistent basis in recent times. The demure Indian forward spoke with Sportskeeda in an exclusive interview.

Excerpts:

You must be looking forward to the 2015 Hero Hockey India League.

Absolutely! Jaypee Punjab Warriors are a strong unit and we were unlucky to lose to Delhi Waveriders in a needle contest in the 2014 edition. We had lost to Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the inaugural edition in the semi-finals, so we are looking forward to faring well this time around and hopefully register our first HIL triumph.

You had a superb run at the 2014 FIH Champions Trophy setting up crucial passes as well as scoring. You must have been elated to have contributed as a senior pro in the side.

Performing in a big-ticket event gives plenty of satisfaction and I just enjoyed myself in the Champions Trophy. India did so well to reach the semi-finals and with little bit of luck we could have gone the distance.

A lot has been said about your burst of speed. What’s your take?

Speed is my lethal weapon for my opponents and I want to use it judiciously and not overdo it so that my team reaps the benefits of it. I have learnt to control my speed.

What do you think went wrong in the semi-final against arch-rivals Pakistan?

I thought we played really well but our finishing was probably not up to the mark. We lost Gurbaj Singh for ten minutes as he was given the marching orders by the umpire, and his absence really upset our rhythm and we are not able to play the fast flowing game we are capable of.

Beating the Netherlands after a gap of eighteen years was quite a ‘high’ for India. Your thoughts.

Netherlands are Olympic silver medalists and one of the top three sides in the world and to beat them in our own backyard was a fantastic achievement for our team. I scored the opening goal and will remember this match for a long time.

India also did quite well to beat higher ranked Belgium 4-2 after being down 0-2 in the second quarter.

The boys showed a lot of character to rebound as it is never easy to come back after trailing 0-2. After the win over the Netherlands, the win over Belgium was really impressive for us.

You had a fine run during the four Test series in Australia. You scored a gem off a goal in one of those games in Perth.

Scoring goals is my job and I really enjoyed scoring that goal.

Looking at the 2016 Rio Olympics, do you think India are looking destined for better things?

Look, we have played these top sides and we now know their strengths and weaknesses. Our video analyst will help us in figuring how we can outmaneuver them in our upcoming tourneys, especially the 2016 Rio Olympics. Consistency is the key and if the same bunch of players performs as we have been doing in recent times, there is no reason why we can’t win a medal in Rio.

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