A fine start to the Olympic year has seen the Indian hockey team rise to their best-ever position on the FIH Rankings.
The Manpreet Singh-led side is placed fourth on the latest FIH Rankings chart and one of the prime reasons behind this surge is their performance in the FIH Hockey Pro League.
Pitted against three of the best hockey teams in the world so far, the Indian hockey team came up with performances that took many by surprise.
Largely known for their trickery with the stick and the tendency to concede causal goals, the Indian hockey team seemed to be a different beast in their opening fixtures in the FIH Pro League.
Up against the likes of Belgium, the Netherlands and Australia, the Graham Reid-coached side was quick, precise and ruthless with the ball and often troubled the opposition with their smooth work in the attacking half.
Their defence too looked firm in testing times with the goalkeepers taking it upon themselves ensure that the backline maintained its shape throughout the 60 minutes.
Their chief coach believes that the experience so far has helped in building self-belief in the team.
“One of the takeaways from the matches we played at the FIH Pro League was that we have proven to ourselves that we can produce good results against the best teams in the world. It's a step forward in building self-belief,” he said.
However, despite such commendable show, the Aussie tactician isn’t completely satisfied. He believes that the team needs to be more consistent across all the quarters, and not shut out for a period that will allow the opponent to capitalise. “We still need to be more consistent not only across matches but also across all quarters,” he said.
“The camp will bring the focus back on our skill -- tackling, goal shooting, trapping. We also need to work on our attacking abilities, especially to move the ball from attacking 25 into the circle.
“After this camp, we will go to Germany and England to play against Germany and England which will help us further assess improvements required as we work toward the 2020 Olympics,” he said.