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Intra-squad hockey games right warm-up for Oly: Striker Akashdeep

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Bengaluru, May 26 (IANS) Experienced hockey striker Akashdeep Singh is unperturbed by the lack of pre-Olympic Games tours due to Covid-enforced travel restrictions and says that intra-squad matches are providing good preparation.

The Olympic probables are currently training at the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) centre in Bengaluru, and attempting to replicate the high-intensity 60-minute international matches to make up for competitive matches.

“We are not letting it play on our minds. Many teams have faced similar situations where tours or matches have been cancelled due to the pandemic and we are not the only ones. But I feel the Indian team was fortunate to get some exposure in Europe and Argentina [in March and April]. Some really good matches were played and we could analyse the level we are at against really tough opponents,” said Singh.

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“With no international matches scheduled for now, in every training session and intra-squad matches we play every week, there is expectation to bring out our best and push each other to improve. I feel these intra-squad matches every week brings out the best in us,” said the Arjuna Award winner.

India were scheduled to tour Europe for a series of FIH Pro League and practice games earlier in May but the trip was postponed due to Covid-enforced travel restrictions.

–IANS

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