Bengaluru, June 1 (IANS) India’s tour of Argentina in April, when they defeated the host and reigning Olympic champions in both FIH Pro League matches, has given “us confidence in our abilities”, national hockey team defender Birendra Lakra said on Tuesday.
Besides, the Manpreet Singh-led India also won two of their four practice games while one was drawn and one lost.
“The Argentina tour has given us a lot of confidence in our abilities. We played very well as a unit, and we took away many positives from that tour. We noted down a few things that we needed to work on post the tour and we are currently working on each of them at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Bengaluru,” said 31-year-old Lakra.
“By the time the Olympics start, I think we will be fully prepared to play at our best,” said the Odisha-born player who was part of India’s gold medal-winning campaign at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.
A veteran of 196 matches, Lakra said the Indian team’s bench strength is “fantastic”.
“There is a lot of competition for each of the positions and that is what keeps all of us on our toes. Everyone is determined to play and perform for India and, therefore, all of us make sure that we are giving everything we have during every practice session,” he said.
“Apart from skill development, we also make sure that we are giving enough attention to our fitness regimes as well.”