Essential to play easy hockey: Rupinder

Buenos Aires, April 2

On his first foreign tour since 2019, seasoned drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh today emphasised on playing simple hockey instead of being too dramatic on the field as the Indian team gears up to take on Olympics champions Argentina.

Rupinder, who arrived here on Thursday along with the Indian team for a 16-day tour that includes back-to-back Pro League matches on April 11 and 12, missed the tour of Europe in February due to hamstring injury.

The lanky defender is desperate to make up for the lost opportunities in the crucial Olympics year.

“I am super excited to play against the Olympics champions. It’s been a very long break from competitive hockey. My last overseas tour was in September 2019 when we played in Antwerp, Belgium,” Rupinder said.

Rupinder had injured his hamstring one week before the team left for Europe. “I was in good nick last year. Now against Argentina, it will be all about finding that rhythm back. It is important to play simple hockey, as chief coach Graham Reid always says, and not do anything too dramatic. Focus will be on basic skills, strong defence, good on-field communication and coordination with each other,” he said.

Rupinder contributed to the team’s campaign with a total of five goals from six FIH Hockey Pro League matches played by India last year.

India will play their first practice match against Argentina on April 6.

The Indian team is scheduled to play six matches against Argentina. — PTI

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