Following Asian Champions Trophy triumph, skipper PR Sreejesh unsure for Australia tour
PR Sreejesh who put a brilliant performance in the recently concluded Asian Champions Trophy held in Malaysia said on Tuesday that he is unsure about his participation in the upcoming Australia tour which kicks off from November 23.
“I am not sure, but I will try to make it into the team,” Sreejesh told PTI after his arrival at the Kempegowda International Airport. The players arrived from Kuala Lumpur after winning the trophy for the second time, having won the inaugural edition five years ago in 2011.
The Indian hockey team are now level with Pakistan on Asian Champions Trophy victories, with Pakistan winning it twice (in 2012, 2013).
Led from the front by skipper PR Sreejesh, he put up an impeccable display in goal during their Asian Champions Trophy triumph.His most memorable performance was during the semi-finals against South Korea when he held on to his nerves in the shootout to get India through to the finals.
In an exclusive interview with Jamie Alter of TOI, Sreejesh let us in on the fitness regime of the Indian Men’s Hockey team, and how essential it is to be match-fit all the time, “We changed our training methods, focused on strengthening sessions and our fitness levels were raised. On training days we hit the gym and on other days we do a lot of running, so I feel we are one of the fittest teams.”
In modern day hockey, fitness is key and with the introduction of rolling substitutions, players get 3-4 minutes of break during the game. The Indian goalkeeper feels it is an appropriate system and could affect the game of a player positively as a player needs to give his best and push really hard only for those minutes.
Sreejesh, who forms an integral part of the Indian squad said, “Injury is part of game. Will definitely look after this and do check-up with the doctors," as India prepares themselves for the upcoming four-nation event to be held in Australia.
The Indian goalkeeper came to limelight during the final against Pakistan in 2011 saving two penalties. The goalkeeper is an important player in the Indian squad and will be missed if he doesn’t get fit in time.